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Full text of "Narrative of a residence in Algiers: comprising a geographical and historical account of the regency; biographical sketches of the dey and his ministers; anecdotes of the late war; observations on the relations of the Barbary States with the Christian powers"

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College  of  Liberal  Arts 


E  JMBL  .  RAD  Ci. 




OF    A 




^ncttinteé  of  m  late  smar  ; 









Obruat  illud  male  partum,  male  retentnm,  male  gestum  imperium.    CICERO. 
The  fact  is,  we  ourselves  with  a  little  cover,  others  more  directly,  pay  a  tn'btde  to  the  Republic  of  Algiers; 
and  1  for  one  do  more  than  doubt  the  policy  of  this  convention.  BURKE,  on  a  Regicide  Peace. 




W.Shackell,  Printer, 

linBon's-court,  Fleet-stieet, 


i   ^  r 



«fc.  4-c.  (^C. 


Amongst  that  host  of  exiles  who  found  an  asylum 
against  oppression,  persecution,  and  tyranny  in  this  country,  during 
the  late  unprecedented  revolution,  few  seem  to  have  felt  a  deeper 
sense  of  gratitude  for  the  protection  afforded  by  Great  Britain,  and 
none  appreciated  the  proud  pre-eminence  of  our  civil  and  political 
institutions  over  those  of  other  nations,  more  highly,  than  the  author 
of  the  following  Narrative. 

Mr.  Pananti  is  also  the  first  emigrant,  who  has  given  unlimited 
scope  to  those  feelings  of  admiration,  which  are  generally  inspired 
by  an  impartial  view  of  our  inestimable  constitution.  Unin- 
fluenced by  the  little  mind  or  sordid  jealousy  of  others,  the  mere  pri- 
vilege of  living  in  a  free  country,  without  sharing  in  the  immediate 
bounty  of  the  sovereign,  was  enough  to  excite  sentiments  of  the 
warmest  gratitude  on  the  part  of  this  liberal-minded  Italian  ;  and  I 
am  satisfied,  that  next  to  the  gratification  of  having  endeavoured  to 
sei-ve  the  paramount  cause  of  himianity  and  justice,  he  will  esteem  the 



high  honour  conferred  on  his  work,  in  having  the  name  of  your  Royal 
Highness  prefixed  to  it,  as  the  greatest  reward  his  literary  labours 
could  attain  ;  and  participating  in  these  sentiments,  I  feel  equally 
flattered  by  so  distinguished  a  privilege. 

Warmly  attached  to  the  kingly  power  from  principle,  and 
convinced  by  the  experience  of  history,  how  much  a  constitutional 
monarch  may  perform  for  the  interests  of  humanity,  the  object  of  this 
Dedication  is  that  of  soliciting  the  attention  of  your  Royal  Highness 
to  a  subject,  in  which  the  energies  of  a  free  people  may  be  most 
usefully  exerted  in  favour  of  the  whole  universe.  While  some 
princes  have  laboured  to  acquire  the  terrific  immortality  of  an  Alex- 
ander, a  Caesar,  and  a  Ghengis  Khan  ;  others,  animated  by  a  more 
legitimate  love  of  fame,  derive  their  glory  fiom  imitating  the  virtues 
of  an  Aristides,  a  Trajan,  and  an  Alfred.  It  is  amidst  the  names 
of  the  latter,  I  am  desirous  of  seeing  that  of  a  British  sovereign 
inscribed  ;  and  should  the  author's  proposition  to  colonize  Northern 
Africa,  be  fortunately  honoured  with  the  support  of  your  Royal  High- 
ness, none  but  those  who  are  determined  to  oppose  the  progress  of 
knowledge  and  civilization,  can  deny  it  this  elevated  distinction. 

Grateful  for  the  condescension  I  experience  in  being  permitted 
to  lay  this  work  before  your  Royal  Highness,  I  have  the   honour 
to  be,  with  sentiments  of  profound  respect,  and  unfeigned  loyalty. 
Your  Royal  Highness's  most  humble. 
And  most  devoted  Servant, 

London,  April  \Oth,  1818. 


Of  all  those  peculiarities  which  distinguish  the  present  age,  giving  it 
a  marked  superiority  over  every  preceding  period  of  our  history,  none 
is  so  conspicuous,  or  more  conducive  to  the  interests  of  mankind,  than 
the  very  general  curiosity  excited  by  works  of  this  nature  ;  and 
although,  like  most  others,  they  have  a  tendency  to  accumulate 
beyond  all  reasonable  limits,  that  should  not  militate  against  the 
claims  of  any  new  candidate  for  public  notice  ;  particularly  if, 
as  in  this  instance,  the  author  has  endeavoured  to  make  his  book 
the  vehicle  of  important  truths,  while  he  offered  a  faithful  picture 
of  the  manners  and  customs  of  the  people  whom  he  professed  to 

In  ushering,  however,  another  quarto  into  the  world,  it  would 
be  improper  were  I  to  omit  some  account  of  the  motives  which  have 
led  to  its  publication. 

vili  EDITOR  S    PREFACE. 

Having  frequented  the  shores  of  Northern  Africa  during  the  late 
war,  those  intervals  of  relaxation  afforded  from  professional  duties,  were 
devoted  to  the  collection  of  all  the  useful  information  I  could  obtain 
relative  to  the  places  I  happened  to  visit  :  this  was,  in  the  first  instance. 
communicated  to  His  Majesty's  Government,  and  finally  published, 
with  considerable  additions,  in  1812.  Since  that  period,  Mr.  Pananti 
is  the  only  >vriter  who  has  given  a  detailed  account  of  a  place  to 
which  I  had  not  a  sufficient  degree  of  access  to  allow  of  my  including 
it  in  the  Letters  from  the  Mediterranean.  In  regretting  this 
circumstance,  I  was,  however,  fully  aware  of  its  importance,  on  several 
accounts,  over  the  rest  ;  and  therefore,  determined  to  embrace  the 
first  opportunity  that  presented  itself,  of  bringing  the  subject  before 
the  public.  This  was  furnished  by  the  industry  and  observation 
of  the  above-named  personage,  whose  melancholy  stars  led  to  his 
being  carried  into  Algiers  as  a  slave  ;  and  thus  enabled  him  to  give  a 
much  more  minute  description  of  that  Regency  than  has  ever  yet 
appeared  in  Europe. 

After  those  interesting  events  connected  with  the  recent  history 
of  Barbary,  which  rendered  an  account  of  Algiers  a  desideratum  in 
literature  and  politics,  it  will,  I  dare  say,  be  considered  as  rather 
fortunate,  that  such  a  writer  should  have  had  the  means  of  eluci- 
dating the  present  state  of  that  country  ;  hitherto  only  known  by  the 
lawless  depredations  of  its  unprincipled  chiefs.  Although  this  circum- 
stance is  alone  sufiicient  to  excite  a  considerable  degree  of  interest  in 
its  favour,  I  should  never  have  undertaken  the  humble  ofiice  of  a 
translator,  did  I  not  believe  the  author's  labours  had  much  greater 
claims  to  the  attention  of  the  philosopher,  politician,  and  man  of 
letters,  than  books  of  travels  usually  possess.    In  saying  thus  much. 


I  am  only  performing  an  act  of  justice  to  Mr.  Pananti,  whose  inde- 
pendent spirit,  and  high  sense  of  virtue,  preclude  the  possibility  of 
his  compiling  a  book  for  the  sake  of  bettering  his  fortune,  without 
contributing  to  the  improvement  of  his  fellow  creatures.  Had  the 
author  devoted  his  talents  to  the  composition  of  a  novel  oi-  romance, 
there  is  little  doubt,  but  that  he  would  have  stood  a  much  better 
chance  of  being  remunerated  for  the  pecuniary  losses  occasioned 
by  his  captivity  :  having  aspired  to  the  high  honour  of  dissemi- 
nating knowledge  of  a  more  important  nature  than  can  possibly 
result  from  works  of  fiction,  he  must  be  satisfied  with  that  intellectual 
reward  which  never  fails  to  arise  from  an  honest  endeavour  to  serve 

Though  it  is  evident  that  the  author's  principal  object  in  pub- 
lishing, was  to  call  the  serious  attention  of  Europe  to  the  necessity 
and  importance  of  colonizing  Northern  Africa,  and,  at  all  events, 
to  put  an  end  to  piracy,  he  was  by  no  means  indifferent  to  those 
details  which  are  calculated  to  amuse  the  general  reader.  It  is  hoped 
these  will  be  found  to  possess  a  sufficient  degree  of  interest  to  render 
them  worth  perusal;  even  should  the  more  abstract  reasonings  be 
regarded  with  indifference. 

As  this  is  the  first  prose  work  of  any  consequence  which  the 
author  has  given  to  the  public,  its  merits  will  not  be  particularly 
enhanced  by  any  praises  which  I  might  be  disposed  to  bestow  on  his 
poetical  talents.  However,  these  are  such  as  to  have  placed  Mr. 
Pananti's  name  very  high  amongst  the  living  poets  of  Italy.  While 
in  England,  where,  rather  than  remain  a  passive  spectator  of  his 
country's  degradation,  he  took  shelter  during  the  revolutionary  storm; 



ill  addition  to  many  smaller  pieces,  he  published  two  volumes,  in 
1809,  entitled  //  Poeta  di  Teatro,  descriptive  of  the  state  of  our 
Italian  opera.  This,  in  addition  to  local  interest,  contains  many 
digressions  on  the  manners,  customs,  and  events  of  the  day,  and  is  in 
other  respects  distinguished  by  all  that  epigrammatic  humour  which 
abounds  in  his  earlier  productions:  many  of  these  were  published  pre- 
vious to  his  quitting  Tuscany,  and  are  justly  celebrated  in  Italy. 

Having  experienced  every  difficulty  which  a  total  loss  of  his 
property,  the  hardships  of  captivity,  and  a  broken  spirit  could 
produce,  Mr.  P.  endeavoured  to  console  himself  on  returning  to 
Florence,  by  compiling  the  following  narrative  ;  and  as  stated  in  a 
note  prefixed  to  the  second  edition  of  the  original,  the  transac- 
tions which  took  place  previous  and  subsequent  to  the  attack  under 
Lord  Exmouth,  gave  additional  importance  to  his  materials.  How 
the  author  has  availed  himself  of  this  circumstance,  it  is  for  the  public 
to  determine. 

As  all  that  occurred  to  Mr.  Pananti  on  the  subject  of  Africa, 
together  with  the  observations  suggested  by  late  events,  are  amply 
detailed  throughout  his  work,  I  have  only  to  express  an  ardent  hope 
that  they  will  produce  some  effect  on  the  august  personages  who  are 
about  to  meet  in  Germany  during  the  ensuing  summer  :  for  next  to 
the  great  question  of  South  American  independence,  none  demand 
more  serious  consideration  than  that  of  Italy  and  the  coast  of 

In  paying  a  just  tribute  of  applause  to  the  author's  political 
principles,   and  the  unrestrained  liberality  with  which  he  treats  the 

editor's  preface.  ^i 

important  questions  he  has  discussed,  no  less  admiration  is  due  to  the 
government  of  Tuscany  and  its  mild  censorship,  which  gave  him  so 
wide  a  latitude  for  the  dissemination  of  his  sentiments.  In  fact,  the 
publication  of  such  a  work  as  the  following,  may  be  regarded  as  an 
epoch  in  the  history  of  Italy,  and  excites  the  more  surprize,  from 
newspapers  and  other  periodical  works  being  generally  under  the 
most  peremptory  restrictions  in  nearly  all  the  Italian  states. 

With  respect  to  the  difference  of  arrangement,  adopted  in  this 
edition  of  Mr.  Pananti's  narrative,  the  division  into  chapters  has  the 
advantage  of  being  more  familiar  to  us,  while  a  degree  of  unity, 
which  seems  wanting  in  the  original,  is  given  to  the  whole  work. 
Inimical  to  literal  translation,  from  a  conviction  that  no  language  on 
earth  is  susceptible  of  an  exact  transcript  into  another,  my  chief 
study  in  the  following  sheets,  has  been  that  of  transfusing  the  author's 
ideas  into  the  idiom  of  our  own  country.  Although,  owing  to  diffi- 
culties which  must  always  arise  on  such  occasions,  I  am  not  so  vain 
as  to  flatter  myself  with  having  attained  this  object  in  its  fullest 
extent  ;  it  will  be  exceedingly  gratifying  to  find,  that  some  progress 
has  been  made  towards  a  design,  which  might,  I  think,  be  more  gene- 
rally adopted,  without  injuring  the  interests  of  literature,  or  diminish- 
ing the  number  of  readers. 

To  those  who  are  not  fond  of  quotations,  I  beg  to  observe,  that 
many  in  the  original  which  appeared  least  calculated  to  create  an 
interest  with  the  English  reader  have  been  suppressed;  while  a  trans- 
lation is  added  to  the  most  material,  and  care  has  been  taken  that 
none  should  interfere  with  the  course  of  the  narrative. 

b  2 


The  same  motives  which  guided  me  in  the  translation,  have  also 
dictated  an  occasional  departure  from  the  original,  either  by  an 
omission  of  whatever  appeared  not  exactly  suited  to  the  taste  of  an 
English  reader,  or  had  been  already  sufficiently  illustrated  by  other 
writers.  This  is  another  privilege  which  few  will  be  disposed  to  deny 
a  translator,  and  if  more  freely  exerci.sed,  it  could  not  fail  to  render  an 
essential  service  to  the  community. 

If  I  am  to  believe  those  who  have  studied  the  public  taste,  in 
matters  of  literature,  an  author  may  get  over  any  difficulty,  except 
that  of  making  people  read  his  notes.  A  friend  happening  to  suggest 
this  discouraging  circumstance  in  the  course  of  the  following  trans- 
lation ;  my  reply  was,  that  besides  the  text  having  in  many  places, 
.seemed  to  require  either  commentary  or  illustration,  readers  were 
jiot  generally  disposed  to  find  fault  with  any  remarks,  which  did  not 
appear  to  be  inserted  merely  for  the  purpose  of  swelling  up  a  volume. 
I  am  not  without  a  hope,  that  those  who  take  the  trouble  of  perusing 
the  share  I  have  had  in  this,  will  acquit  me  of  a  charge  like  the 
above  ;  while  all  are,  of  course,  at  liberty  to  pass  it  over,  as  not 
interfering  with  the  narrative,  which  it  is  solely  intended  to  diversify, 
by  an  occasional  reference  to  a  few  subjects,  that  have  hitherto 
created  no  inconsiderable  degree  of  public  interest  in  this  country. 

Having,  on  my  late  return  from  the  Continent,  heard  that  tours 
innumerable  were  in  preparation,  I  have  been  deterred  from  any 
attempt  to  make  up  one  myself.  But  as  it  is  scarcely  possible  for 
the  most  ordinary  observer,  to  visit  France  or  Italy,  without  noticing 
the  singular  spectacle  exhibited  by  those  two  countries,    after   the 


extraordinary  vicissitudes  of  their  recent  history.  I  thought  the 
present  a  favourable  opportunity  to  offer  a  few  desultory  remarks 
on  the  above  nations.  Visiting  the  former,  with  a  .strong  preposses- 
sion in  favour  of  a  people,  whom  I  had  principally  known  through 
the  medium  of  books  ;  it  is  needless  to  say,  that  in  common  with 
many  others,  were  calculated  to  convey  but  a  very  limited 
notion  of  the  French  character  ;  which  requires  to  be  closely 
examined  before  it  is  thoroughly  understood.  If,  like  most  of 
our  countrymen  who  have  visited  France,  I  have  found  less  to 
admire,  than  I  at  first  anticipated;  the  circumstance  does  not 
arise  from  prejudice  on  my  part,  or  national  hatred  :  some  of  the 
facts  which  have  given  rise  to  the  opinions  promulgated  in  the 
notes,  are  stated  ;  and  if  necessary,  I  am  prepared  to  corroborate 
them  by  many  others.  A  wann  admirer  of  those  intellectual  qua- 
lities and  that  natural  genius,  which  have  placed  France  in  the 
first  rank  of  civilized  nations,  I  am  not,  for  these  reasons,  called 
upon  to  sacrifice  the  interests  of  truth,  either  for  the  sake  of  private 
friendship,  or  the  fear  of  censure.  The  whole  tenor  of  my  obser- 
vations proves  how  highly  1  appreciate  individual  talent  ;  while  it 
was  impossible  to  stifle  my  feelings,  on  seeing  a  nation,  so  capable 
of  all  that  is  great  and  good,  made  the  willing  instrument  of  un- 
principled factions,  or  false  doctrines  in  philosophy.  Hence  the 
little  ceremony  observed  with  regard  to  Buonaparte,  whom  I  can 
never  cease  to  consider  as  one  of  the  greatest  enemies  public  liberty 
has  had  in  Europe  ;  and  yet,  unheard  of  anomaly,  the  revolutionary 
faction  wish  for  his  return  !  I  ! 

I  have  in  vain  endeavoured  to  account  for  this  most  inexplicable 


fatality  ;  which,  Unnentable  to  reflect,  has  polluted  some  minds  in 
our  own  country.  As  any  attempt  to  trace  the  cause  of  this  won- 
derful change  in  the  opinion  of  some  politicians,  who  thought  so 
diametrically  opposite,  while  the  Ex-Emperor  was  in  power,  would 
lead  me  far  beyond  the  limits  of  a  preface,  I  will  only  add  on  this 
subject,  that  those  who  wish  to  excite  the  sympathy  of  Europe  in 
his  behalf,  ought,  at  least,  to  inform  the  public  in  what  way  he  has, 
during  his  long  and  sanguinary  reign,  contributed  to  the  repose  or 
happiness  of  mankind.  Until  this  is  done,  I  am  fully  justified  in 
cherishing  the  opinions,  founded  on  a  perfect  recollection  of  his- 
torical facts,  which  are  given  in  the  present  publication.  I  am 
by  no  means  insensible  to  those  talents  which  have  led  to  Buona- 
parte's being  compared  to  the  Alexanders  and  Caesars  of  former 
days  ;  talents,  which  he  invariably  applied  to  obtain  the  same  ends. 
But  these  are  the  strongest  reasons  against  suffering  common  sense  to 
be  violated,  by  looking  to  such  people  for  the  salvation  of  liberty. 
Without  the  smallest  wish  of  impeding  the  progress  of  those  exertions 
in  favour  of  the  St.  Helena  exile,  which  go  to  soften  the  rigours  of 
his  confinement,  or  even  lead  to  his  being  transferred  to  a  less  solitary 
region  ;  I  cannot  help  considering  the  manner  in  which  his  public 
character  has  been  blazoned  forth  to  the  English  people,  as  having 
done  incalculable  mischief  to  the  cause  it  was  intended  to  promote. 
Is  it  not  the  bounden  duty  of  upright  and  unprejudiced  political 
writers,  to  warn  the  multitude  against  the  frightful  consequences  of 
elevating  any  more  military  leaders  to  rule  over  them  Ì  And  yet,  we 
have  seen  those,  who  make  an  open  profession  of  patriotism,  inscribe 
odes,  and  write  panegyrics  on  Napoleon  Buonaparte  !  As  this  admi- 
ration is  neither  justified  by  wisdom  nor  prudence,  it   can  only  be 


regarded  as  one  of  those  palpable  absurdities,  and  fatal  errors,  which 
sometimes  lead  men  astray  against  the  evidence  of  their  senses  ;  and 
on  this  account,  I  trust,  we  shall  learn  to  look  to  a  more  legitimate 
source  of  bettering  the  condition  of  nations,  than  by  the  renewal  of 
military  despotism  in  Europe.  And  how  justly  might  not  the  pro- 
phetic interrogatories  of  M.  de  Calonne  be  repeated  to  those,  who 
are  still  labouring  to  bring  back  the  evils  of  anarchy  in  France  :— 
"  Qu'il  est  funeste  l'art  de  tromper  le  peuple!  et  quel  execrable 
usage  les  perturbateurs  de  la  France  n'en  ont  ils  pas  fait?  Nation 
spirituelle,  aimable,  généreuse,  à  qui  il  ne  manque  que  de  réfléchir 
davantage!  Jusques  à  quand  vous  laisserez-vous  aveugler?  Jusquesà 
quand  serez-vous  le  jouet  d'un  association  d'intrigans,  d'enthusiastes 
et  de  dupes  I  " 

While  I  was  taught  to  attribute  the  moral  and  political  evils  of 
France  to  causes  purely  local;  those  of  persecuted  and  ill-fated  Italy, 
seemed  to  arise  from  the  ceaseless  avidity  and  rapacious  ambition  of 
foreign  invaders.  The  abuses  of  religion  have  no  doubt  had  consider- 
able share  in  adding  to  the  misfortunes  of  that  interesting  country; 
but  however  inclined  the  Italians  may  be  to  encourage  vicious  habits, 
their  capability  of  improvement,  and  disposition  to  adopt  liberal  insti- 
tutions, could  never  be  fairly  estimated  while  shackled  by  so  many 
oppressions,  which  left  no  choice  between  slavery  and  subjection. 

Impressed  with  these  important  truths;  grateful  for  the  blessings 
conferred  on  the  rest  of  Europe  by  that  intellectual  fire  which  has 
never  ceased  to  burn  in  the  climate  of  Italy  ;  penetrated  with  sorrow 
at  the  impoverished  and  degraded  state  of  the  people,    which   can 


only  be  meliorated  by  the  adoption  of  a  more  liberal  and  enlightened 
policy  than  has  been  hitherto  resorted  to,  I  was  unwilling  to  lose 
this  opportunity  of  submitting  a  few  thoughts  on  the  subject  to 
the  public.  Unaided  either  by  the  talents  or  influence  which 
many  English  travellers  who  visited  Italy  last  year  possessed,  my 
desultory  and  unconnected  remarks  have  nothing  to  recommend  them 
but  truth.  It  is  with  this  conviction,  and  my  anxiety  to  avert 
those  evils  likely  to  arise  from  that  political  system  so  justly 
apostrophised — 

Monstrum  horrendum,  informe,  ingens,  cui  lumen  adeptum  ! 

which  Italy  now  presents,  that  I  have  ventured  to  subjoin  the 
note  at  the  end  of  the  volume,  in  the  hope  of  its  attracting  the 
attention  of  those  who  have  more  ample  means  of  illustrating  the 
important  subjects  to  which  it  alludes.  Should  my  feeble  efforts 
happily  awaken  the  literati  of  this  country  to  a  just  sense  of  what  they 
owe  to  that  of  Dante,  Petrarch,  and  Galileo,  I  am  thoroughly  con- 
vinced the  great  powers  of  Europe  will  not  be  appealed  to  in  vain,  by 
an  energetic  and  dignified  expression  of  that  opinion  which  has  been 
so  often  and  successfully  exerted  in  the  cause  of  truth  and  humanity. 

Although  some  years  have  elapsed  since  I  have  ventured  to 
appear  before  the  public  in  the  character  of  a  writer,  I  cannot 
forget  the  extreme  liberality  with  which  my  first  literary  effort  was 
received.  In  returning  my  best  thanks  to  those  gentlemen  who  were 
kind  enough  to  notice  a  book,  written  with  precisely  the  same  object 
as  the  present,  that  of  serving  the  European  community,  I  cannot 
pay  them  a  more  flattering  compliment,  than  by  observing,  that  the 


matter  it  contained  appeared  sufficiently  ijnportant  to  cause  the  defects 
of  style  and  composition  to  be  overlooked.  Having  said  thus  much, 
it  is  but  fair  to  add,  that  these  remarks  are  not  made  with  any  view 
to  avert  the  salutary  eye  of  criticism. 

However  I  may  have  failed  in  doing  justice  to  the  original,  it  is 
hoped  the  typographical  and  ornamental  partof  this  volume  will  meet 
the  reader's  approbation.  Both  the  View  of  Algiers,  and  Plan  of  the  late 
Attack,  are  from  the  designs  of  a  distinguished  amateur  artist,  who  has 
had  every  facility  of  doing  justice  to  his  subject:  so  that  independent 
of  their  merits  as  specimens  of  art,  their  accuracy  may  be  depended  on. 
The  Map  has  also  many  pretensions  to  correctness.  It  was  originally 
drawnby  a  person  long  resident  in  Algiers,  andhas  received  considerable 
additions  from  others  of  a  more  recent  date  in  my  own  possession. 

Having  thus  endeavoured  to  give  the  reader  an  idea  of  what  he 
is  to  expect  from  a  perusal  of  the  following  pages,  much  more  might 
be  said  in  extenuation  of  the  numerous  sins  of  omission  and  commission, 
which  will  no  doubt  be  laid  to  the  author's  charge,  as  well  as  to  that 
of  his  very  inadequate  translator  ;  but  it  is  high  time  to  conclude  :  and 
as  the  ingenious  and  learned  author  of  Vulgar  Errors,  says,  "  We  are 
unwilling  to  spin  out  our  waking  thoughts  into  the  Phantasms  of 
Sleep,  which  often  continueth  Precogitations,  making  Cables  of 
Cobwebs,  and  Wildernesses  of  handsome  Groves.  And  lastly," 
by  way  of  reply  to  criticism,  "  we  are  not  Magisterial  in  opinions, 
nor  have  we  Dictator-like  obtruded  our  conceptions  ;  but  in  the 
humility  of  enquiries  or  disquisitions  have  only  proposed  them  unto 
more  ocidar  discerners.  And  therefore,  opinions  are  free,  and  open  it  is 
for  any  one  to  think  or  declare  the  contraiy  I" 




1.  A  Picturesque  View  of  Algiers to  face  the  Title. 

2.  Map  of  the  Regency  of  Algiers, Page  101 

3.  Plan  of  the  City  and  Fortifications   of  Algiers,    and  of   the  Stations 

taken  by  the  Combined  Fleets,  under  the  Command  of  Lord  Exaiouth  at  the 
Attack,  on  the  27th  August,  1816 393 


lilFE  is  a  book,  says  Goldsmith,  of  which  he,  whose  observations 
have  been  merely  confined  to  his  native  country,  has  only  read  a 
single  page  ;  and  travellers  are  aptly  compared  to  those  streams, 
which  become  grand  and  more  majestic,  in  proportion  as  they  wander 
from  their  original  sources,  increasing  their  salutary  and  useful  qua- 
lities as  they  proceed.  Hence,  enterprizing  individuals,  anxious  to 
improve  themselves,  and  add  to  the  knowledge  of  others,  have  not 
been  deterred  in  their  favourite  pursuit,  either  by  the  Polar  ice,  or  the 
burning  sun  of  the  Equator,  the  lofty  summits  of  the  Andes,  or 
unfrequented  waters  of  the  Southern  Ocean.  There  is,  however,  one 
quarter  of  the  globe,  which  has,  hitherto,  terrified  many,  and  baflled 
the  utmost  efforts  of  the  most  resolute  adventurers  ;  and  that  is  Africa. 
Nearly  all  those  who  have  ventured  into  this  highly  interesting  con- 
tinent, have  either  found  a  melancholy  grave,  or  encountered  the 
greatest  personal  calamities  ;  and  the  public  has  had  successively  to 
deplore  the  premature  fate  of  Houghton,  Horneman,  Park,  Roent- 
gen, and  several  others.  The  access  to  this  extraordinary  region  is 
impeded  by  a  thousand  obstacles  and  difficulties,  almost  unknown  to 
other  quarters.  Without  many  deep  rivers  or  inland  seas,  Africa 
seems,  as  it  were,  closed  to  the  genius  of  commerce  and  navi- 
gation; the  Senegal,  Niger,  and  Gambia,  its  principal  streams, 
instead  of  passing  over  regular  and  even  countries,  are  frequently 



interrupted  by  rapid  falls,  ridges  of  rocks  and  shallows,  v,  liich  render 
it  nearly  inij>ossible  for  vessels  of  tlie  smallest  size  to  ascend  them  : 
so  that,  whether  we  consider  its  variou-;  inequalities  of  soil  and  climate, 
extensive  deserts  and  vast  solitudes,  mostly  infested  by  venomous 
reptiles,  or  more  ferocious  beasts  of  prey  ;  the  infinite  diversity  of 
tribas  which  inhabit  its  surface,  from  the  uncultivated  savages  of 
CafFraria  and  Angola,  to  the  bigoted  Mahometan  or  relentless  Abys- 
sinian, all  equally  inimical  to  friendly  intercourse  with  strangers  ; 
innumerable  perils  are  still  opposed  to  the  candidate  for  African 
discovery;  which  it  is  of  the  utmost  importance  to  diminish,  by  pro- 
secuting those  researches  and  enquiries,  illustrative  of  the  manners 
and  customs  of  the  more  civilized  parts,  between  which  and  the 
interior,  a  constant  intercourse  is  known  to  be  kept  up  ;  possessing  the 
additional  advantage  of  being  liable  to  iewer  interruptions,  than 
have  been  so  lamentably  experienced  in  attempting  to  penetrate  from 
other  quarters. 

By  far  the  most  beautiful  j)art  of  Africa,  that  nearest  to  Europe  ; 
a  country  which  was  once  the  abode  of  a  polished  and  civilized 
people;  that  from  whence,  rather  than  Sierra  Leone  or  Egypt,  it 
would  be  least  difficult  to  trace  the  source  of  the  Niger,  and  follow  its 
course,  or  pass  into  other  parts  of  the  interior,  as  proved  by  the  progress 
of  the  Romans  ;  a  country  rich  in  classic  recollections,  and  the  choicest 
productions  of  nature  ;  which,  in  other  days,  contained  the  intellect 
tual  spirit  of  Greece  and  Rome,  filling  the  granaries  of  the  latter; 
which,  united  by  commercial  and  political  ties,  is  still  abundantly 
capable  of  ministering  to  the  wants  and  luxuries  of  the  European 
family  :  such  is  the  immense  and  fertile  coast  of  Barbary,  which,  by 
a  singular  fatality,  is  still  in  possession  of  a  race,  the  most  cruel  and 
inhospitable.  This  extensive  region,  divided  into  nominal  kiigdoms,  is 


governed  by  a  set  of  monsters,  who  vie  with  each  other  in  tlie  deepest 
hatred  and  bitterest  hostility  towards  Christianity  and  civilization. 
Thus  placing  a  ruinous  barrier  between  two  great  divisions  of  the 
earth  ;  and,  as  many  have  truly  said,  been  hitherto  the  principal,  and 
perhaps  only  cause  of  Africa's  being  so  inaccessible  to  Europeans. 

But  now  that  the  affairs  of  the  world  are  re-established  on  their 
ancient  basis  ;  when  the  great  monarchs  of  Europe  are  united  in 
holy  alliance,  doubtless  with  the  paternal  design  of  perpetuating  the 
pure  doctrines,  and  rational  morality  of  the  Evaugeli.sts  ;  now  that 
the  reign  of  peace,  and  dominion  of  justice  has  once  more  illumined 
the  political  horizon  ;  it  is  surely  incompatible  with  such  beneficent 
views,  any  longer  to  tolerate  self-appointed  chiefs  of  banditti,  under 
the  specious  title  of  regular  governments  ;  whose  characteristic  bru- 
tality, and  lawless  violence,  is  constantly  occupied  in  disturbing  the 
domestic  happiness  and  moral  order  of  society.  Such  a  supposition 
is  as  repugnant  to  the  interests  of  humanity,  as  it  is  to  the  progress 
of  knowledge,  and  pre-eminently  enlightened  character  of  the  pre- 
sent age. 

Reason  and  political  wisdom  cannot  any  longer  permit  such 
numerous  hordes  of  plunderers  to  exercise  their  depredations  with 
impunity,  in  the  centre  of  the  globe,  bordering  upon  all  that  is 
refined  and  estimable  in  our  nature  ;  and  that  benign  philosophy 
which  has  abolished  the  iniquitous  traffic  of  our  black  fellow  creatures, 
is  loudly  called  upon  to  banish  a  still  greater  evil,  the  slavery  of  the 
whites  !  The  voice  of  friendly  admonition  has  been  vainly  reiterated 
to  those  governments,  and  a  terrible  example  made  of  the  most  guilty. 
But  can  we  place  any  permanent  reliance  on  the  oft  plighted  and 
more  often  broken  faith  of  such  monsters  Ì     Is  peace  the  interest  of 

xxii  author's  preface. 

governments,  whose  very  establishment  is  founded  upon  the  law  of  the 
strongest,  plunder  and  proscription?  It  is  indeed  sincerely  to  be 
wished  that  a  long  and  perpetual  one  may  continue  towards  the  debi- 
litated states  of  Italy,  and  unprotected  Hanse  Towns.  But  it  is  also 
of  the  first  consecjuence  to  become  thoroughly  acquainted  with  the 
objects  of  our  just  apprehension  :  in  order  clearly  to  ascertain  the 
best  measures  of  precaution  against  their  machinations,  let  us  besides 
keep  in  mind  the  crying  injuries  we  have  for  so  long  a  period  expe- 
rienced at  the  hands  of  these  merciless  people,  as  another  means  of 
guarding  against  future  aggression. 

Under  all  these  considerations,  it  will  not  perhaps  be  either 
useless  or  uninteresting  to  narrate  the  circumstances  attending  a  late 
voyage  to  the  inauspicious  coast  of  Barbary,  made  by  a  person,  who 
was  transported  thither  by  one  of  those  dreadful  calamities,  which,  to 
the  shame  of  civilization,  human  nature  has  been  for  many  centuries 
doomed  ineffectually  to  deplore.  In  the  following  pages  the  author 
proposes  to  describe  what  he  has  witnessed,  and  draw  as  faithful  a 
picture  as  he  can  of  the  melancholy  scenes  and  dreadful  atrocities 
which  his  evil  genius  destined  him  to  see  in  one  of  the  piratical  states. 
Those  parts  of  his  work  which  relate  to  government,  manners  and 
customs,  or  the  interior  which  he  had  no  opportunity  of  visiting,  are 
derived  from  the  best  and  most  intelligent  authorities  he  could  find 
during  his  residence  in  Algiers;  and  he  is  only  induced  to  offer  them 
from  a  conviction  of  their  authenticity.  The  whole  is  submitted  to  the 
public  with  those  imperfections  which  are,  no  doubt,  profusely  scat- 
tered through  the  work  ;  but  however  multiplied  these  may  be,  the 
author  confidently  relies  on  the  impartiality  of  its  decision  in  favour  of 
a  book  written  for  the  sole  purpose  of  aiding  the  cause  of  religion, 
justice,  and  humanity. 



Memoirs. — Origin  of  the  Voyage. — Fatal  Delay. — Thames. — The  Ocean. — Con- 
tinuance of  the  Voyage. — Rencontre. — Coast  of  Fez. — Straits  and  Bay  of 
Gibraltar. — Passage  up  the  Mediterranean. — Arrival  at  the  Island  of  San 
Pietro I 


Imprudent  Departure  from  San  Pietro. — Presentiments. — Appearance  of  the 
Algerine  Squadron. — Captured  by  the  Pirates. — Captives  taken  before  the  Grand 
Rais  or  Admiral. — First  Night  on  board  the  Corsair. — Second  Day. — Storm. — 
Naval  Engagement. — Union  of  the  Captives. — Treatment  on  board  the  Corsairs  of 
Barbary. — Situation  improved. — Hope.— The  Rais  Hamida. — Coast  of  Italy. — 
Council  of  War. — Dispute  between  Tunis  and  Algiers. — Historical  Notice  of 
Tunis. — Revolution  there. — The  Squadron  appears  before  Tunis,  and  retires. — 
Coasting,  and  Arrival  at  Bona 27 


Arrival  in  Algiers. — Landing. — Appearance  before  the  Heads  of  the  Government. 
— Prison  of  the  Slaves. — First  Day  in  Slavery. — The  Employment. — Hours  of 
Repose. — Public  Works. — Liberation. — Arrival  at  the  British  Consulate.— Lost 
Riches. — Still  greater  Losses. — Consolations. — Unfortunate  Companions. — Mode 
of  living  at  Algiers  64 



Christian  Slavery  iu  ALGIERS. — Its  pliysical  and  moral  Effects. — Observations  on  the 
Ransom  and  Liberation  effected  by  the  Expedition  under  Lord  Exmouth. — 
Remarks  on  the  various  Accounts  of  Barbary  hitherto  published. — Object  and 
Motives  of  the  Author  in  laying  his  Account  before  the  Public,  &c 


Barbary. — Derivation  of  its  Name. — Soil,  and  Climate. — Short  View  of  its  general 
History,  and  of  Algiers  in  particular. — Geographical  Description. — Monuments 
and  Remains  of  Antiquity. — The  Capital  described 101 


Fossils,  Minerals,  and  other  natural  Productions  of  Barbary. — Trees  and  Vege- 
tables.— The  Lotus  and  Palm  Tree.— Domestic  Animals. — The  Barb,  Camel,  and 
Dromedary. — Wild  Animals. — Birds,  Reptiles,  Scorpions,  and  Locusts 116 


Desert  of  Angad. — Hardships  in  crossing  the  Sahara,  or  Great  Desert. — Caravans. 

The    Simoom. — Various    Phenomena  attending  it. — Columns  of  Sand. — The 

Oasis. — Temple  of    Ammon. — Consolations   in   the    Desert. — Mount   Atlas. — 
Country  South  of  it,  &c 



Different  People  of  Barbary.— Blacks.— Jews.— Christians.— Renegadoes.— Turks. 
—Chiloulis.— Berberi.— Bedouin  Arabs.— Their  Mode  of  Living.— Male  and 
Female  Costume.— Various  Superstitions. — Occupations  of  the  Arabs. — Riches. 
— Marriages  among  them. — Characteristic  Anecdotes 1^3 



Account  of  the  Kabiles  and  Arab  Tribes.— The  Hiraas.— Tents.— Dowers.— Encamp- 
ments.—Dascars,  or  Arab  Villages.— The  Sheiks. — The  Plundering  Arabs.— 
Anecdotes  respecting  them 1^1 


Description  of  the  Moors.— Their  Figure  and  Character.— Male  and  Female  Costume. 
—Head  Dress  and  Toilet.— Habitations.— Particular  Manners  and  Customs.-r 
Marriages  amongst  the  Moors,  &c 196 


Funeral  Ceremonies  and  Lamentations  over  the  Dead  in  Barbary. — Mourning  of 
Widows. — Vows  of  Friendship  and  Fidelity  made  on  the  Graves  of  departed  Rela- 
tives.— Table  of  the  Moors. — Cuscousu. — Pillaw  and  Basseen. — Use  of  Sugar  and 
Spices. — Yemen  Coffee. — Amusements  of  the  Moors. — Method  of  enticing  Birds. 
— Chess,  and  other  Games  of  Chance. — Social  Meetings. — The  Kiosco. — Barber's 
Shops. — Moorish  Baths. — Mode  of  Bathing.— Baths  frequented  once  a  Week  by 
the  Women. — Singers,  and  Dancing  Girls. — Itinerant  Story  Tellers. — The  Bastinado. 
—Life  of  the  rich  Moor  215 


Moorish  Beauty. — Eyes  and  Features,  Corpulency,  and  Mode  of  Fattenmg  up  before 
Marriage. — Criterion  to  judge  of  a  fine  Woman. — Complexion. — Embellishments 
extraordinary. — Comparison  with  European  Ladies. — Vanity  the  ruling  Principle. 
— Unhappy  Condition  of  the  Women  in  Barbary  ;  their  State  of  Servitude  and  ill 
Treatment. — Ideas  of  the  Moors  with  regard  to  their  Creation. — Their  premature 
old  Age. — Their  Jealousy. — Ridiculous  Precautions  to  prevent  Women  from  being 
seen  or  spoken  to. — Inevitable  Consequence  of  being  discovered  in  an  Intrigue. — 
Story  of  a  Tunisian  Lady.-  -Susceptibility  and  Power  of  Love. — Moorish  Houses 
favourable  to  Intrigue. — Argusses  occasionally  outwitted. — Affectionate  Conduct 

of  the  Moorish  Ladies  towards  their  Husbands,  &c 232 




state  of  Agriculture  in  Algiers.— Imperfect  Mode  of  Ploughing.— Wiue.— Butter.— 
Oil.— Olive  Trees.— Method  of  enriching  the  Land.— Different  Trades  and  Manu- 
factures.  Otto  of  Roses. — Commerce. — Exports  and  Imports. — Traffic  with  the 

Interior  of  Africa.— Method  of  Dealing.— Circulating  Medium.— Clipping.— 
Letters  and  Sciences. — Arab  Writers.— Hints  on  Civilization.— Anecdote. — The 
Pen.— The  Alfagui.— Their  Pedantry.— The  Thibibs.— Medical  Treatment  in 
Barbary. — Anecdotes,  &c 246 


State  of  the  Arts  in  Barbary.— Curious  Cement  and  Glue.— Languages  of  Northern 
Africa.— Anecdote.— Moorish  Music— Different  Instruments.— Singing.— Islam- 
ism.— Ridiculous  Customs.— Strict  Observance  of  Fasts.— Sanctuary  afforded  by 
Mosques,  .&c.— Holy  City.— Paradise  of  Musselmen.— Pilgrimage  to  Mecca.— 
Order  of  the  March,  and  Allusion  to  the  Ceremonies  performed  there.— Marabouts. 
—Anecdote.— Vaili,  or  Saints,  their  Hypocrisy  illustrated.— Facility  of  being 
canonized  in  Barbary.— The  Mufti.— Their  Office  and  Powers.— Mode  of  deciding 
legal  Questions  and  administering  the  Laws.— The  Imans.— The  Muezzins,  and 
Hours  of  Prayer.— The  Koran.— Short  Analysis  of  its  Contents.— Anecdote  of 
Dorat,  the  French  Poet.— Commentators  on  the  Koran,  &c ...263 


Nature  of  the  Algerine  Government.- -Its  Character.— The  Regency.— Divan.— 
Power  of  the  Dey.— His  Election,  and  Mode  of  conducting  it.— Attributes  and 
Prerogatives  of  the  Dey.— Method  of  administering  Justice.— Cause  of  his  Popu- 
larity.—Dangers  which  environ  a  Dey's  Person. — Anecdotes  of  some  late  Chiefs. 
—Fascinations  of  Power  and  Ambition.— Reply  of  a  Polish  Monarch.— Account 
of  Ali  Bassa,  the  reigning  Dey.— His  Death.— Anecdotes.— Notice  of  All's  Suc- 
cessor, Mezouli.— Omar  Aga.— The  Council  of  State.— By  whom  it  is  generally 
composed.— Effects  of  a  Dey's  being  dethroned.— Various  Political  Reflections.— 
Account  of  the  different  OflBcers  composing  the  Dey's  Administration.— Mode  of 
the  Consuls  applying  for  Redress.  — Description  of  inferior  Officers.— General 
Character  of  the  Dey's  Ministers.— Remarks.— Anecdotes,  &c 286 



The  Divan. — Its  Character  as  a  representative  Body. — By  whom  composed. — Mode 
of  assembling. — Discussion,  and  Collection  of  the  Votes. — Revenues. — The  Beys. 
— Their  Rapacity. — Dey's  Policy  with  regard  to  them. — The  Caids,  and  their 
numerous  Oppressions. — Account  of  the  Chiaux,  or  Dey's  Messengers. — Their 
Influence  on  the  Multitude. — Reflections  on  Laws  and  Government. — Algerine 
Code.— The  Cadi.— Their  Appointment  and  Functions. — Civil  Process  in  Barbary. 
— Ignorance  of  the  Judges,  and  novel  Mode  of  deciding  Causes. — Remarks  and 
Anecdotes.—  Criminal  Process. — Punishments  inflicted  for  various  Crimes. — Con- 
sequences of  Adultery  and  Infidelity  in  the  Females.  —  Punishment  of  Treason. 
—  Debtors.  —  How  treated.— Anecdote  of  Ibrahim  Dey.— Effect  of  the  Dey's 
personal  Administration  of  Justice. — Anecdote  of  Cheban  Dey.— Defects  of  the 
Algerine  Law. — Excessive  Severity  of  some  Punishments. — Police  Regulations  of 
Algiers. — Nightly  Patroles. — Espionage  and  Informers. — Subterfuges  of  arbitrary 


Fmancial  System  of  Algiers. — Various  Modes  of  raising  Money. — Hints  to  modern 
Financiers. — The  Hasena,  or  public  Treasury. — Reflections  on  the  Advantages  of 
hoarding. — Different  Sources  of  the  Dey's  Revenue. — His  praiseworthy  For- 
bearance.— Anecdote  of  a  Persian  Prince. — Thoughts  on  the  Use  of  Public  Money. 
— Military  Force  of  Algiers. — The  Oldack,  and  Ortes. — Zouavi. — The  Aga. 
— His  Functions,  and  Mode  of  being  replaced. — Account  of  the  Aga  del  Campo, 
and  Caia. — Mode  of  rewarding  the  Services  of  old  Officers  in  Algiers. — Their 
Privileges. — Boulouc  Bashas,  and  Vekilardi. — Method  of  obtaining  Rank  and  Pro- 
motion under  the  Algerine  Government.- -Cursory  Ideas  on  the  Subject  of  Military 
Regulations  in  all  Countries. — Quarters  and  Allowance  of  the  Soldiery.— Their 
Pay. — Punctuality  with  which  the  Arrears  are  paid. — Ceremony  observed  on 
these  Occasions. — Gradual  Increase  of  the  Soldier's  Remuneration. — Different 
Modes  of  adding  to  it,  and  his  Prospect  of  future  Repose. — Account  of  the  Algerine 
Army. — By  whom  composed. — Bedouin  Cavalry. — Annual  Operations  to  collect 
the  Tribute,  plunder  the  Tribes,  &c. — Punishments  awarded  by  the  Caia. — 
Order  of  the  March. — General  Treatment  of  the  Soldiery. — Its  Effects. — Qualities 
of  the  Dey's  Army. — Its  Operations  left  to  the  Direction  of  the  General. — Councils 
of  War. — Mode  of  Encamping,  and  Order  of  Battle. — Method  of  attacking,  and 
d  2 


re-forming  when  put  into  Disorder. — General  Character  of  the  Algerine  Soldiers. 
— Anecdote  of  an  Italian  Chief. — Character  of  the  Turkish  Militia. — Their  Power 
over  the  Moorish  Population. — Reflections. — Allusion  to  the  Victories  of  Cheban 
Dey. — Characteristics  of  the  Janizaries. — The  various  Advantages  enjoyed  by  them 
over  other  Soldiers  of  Fortune 326 


Piracy. — The  natural  State  of  the  Barbary  Governments. — Their  Political  Maxims. 
— Their  Interest  in  going  to  War. — Mode  of  declaring  it,  and  making  Reprisals. 
— Treatment  of  European  Consuls  and  Subjects. — Method  of  justifying  their 
Policy  with  respect  to  Foreign  Powers. — Mode  of  carrying  on  Hostilities. — Argu- 
ment in  favour  of  it. — Northern  Africa  always  the  Retreat  and  Abode  of  Pirates. 
— Cursory  View  of  their  Depredations. — Of  Captures. — Their  Sale,  and  Distribution 
of  Prize  Money. — Mode  of  disposing  of  Slaves. — The  Basistan. — Tegorarini — 
Occupation  of  Christian  Captives. — Of  Ransoming. — The  Fathers  of  Redemption, 
or  Trinity.— Their  mode  of  proceeding  in  Algiers. — Efforts  of  the  Author  and 
others  to  promote  the  Liberation  of  Sicilian  Slaves. — Allusion  to  the  Exertions 
of  the  British  Government  to  emancipate  them.  —  Remarks  in  praise  of 
the  Conduct  of  those  Italian  Sovereigns,  who  have  made  Peace  with  the  Barbary 
Powers. — Various  useful  Hints  to  those  who  become  Slaves. — Best  Time  of 
escaping.  —  Probable  Result  of  a  well  organized  Combination  amongst  the 
Christian  Slaves  at  Algiers.— Observations,  &c 343 


Military  and  Naval  Power  of  the  Barbary  States. — Tripoly. — Morocco. — 
Thoughts  on  the  Views  of  the  latter  State. — Relations  of  the  above  States  with 
Algiers  and  each  other. — Origin  of  their  Independence. — Influence  of  the 
Ottoman  Porte  over  the  Barbarians. — Nature  of  its  Relations  with  them. — 
Various  Reflections  on  the  Grand  Seignor's  Policy. — State  of  Political  Relations 
between  the  Pirates  and  different  European  Governments 359 


Departure  from  Algiers. — Feelings  on  quitting  Companions  in  Misfortunes. — 
Passage  to  Minorca.— Arrival  at  Port  Mahon. — Entrance  into  the  Lazzaretto. — 
-anecdote   of  a  modern   Traveller.— Theatrical  Scenes. — Liberal  Conduct  of  an 

CONTENTS.  ^^i^ 


Knglish  Consul.— Some  Account  of  Minorca,  and  those  with  whom  the  Author 
Ijecarae  acquainted  there.— Sir  Sidney  Smith.— Embarks  on  board  an  English  Ship. 
—Passage  to  Sicily,  and  Arrival  in  Palermo.— Various  Reflections  on  the 
Civil  and  Political  State  of  the  above  Island.— Departure  from  Sicily.— Reflec- 
tions during  the  Voyage.— Arrival  at  Ponza,  together  with  some  Account  of  that 
Island.— Return  to  Tuscany  and  Reflections  suggested  by  it 369 


Recent  Conduct  and  new  Insults  of  the  Barbary  Powers.— Negociations  of  Lord 
Exmouth,  and  General  Sir  Thomas  Maitland.— Bombardment  of  Algiers.— Sub- 
mission of  the  Dey.— Observations  on  the  Treaties  lately  made  between  the  Euro- 
pean Powers  and  Barbary  States.— Remarks  on  the  Conduct  of  Great  Britain, 
compared  w^ith  that  of  other  Governments.— Singular  Enigma.— Reflections  sug- 
gested by  it.— Necessity  of  taking  greater  Precautions  than  those  already  adopted. 
—How  far  we  are  justified  in  relying  on  the  Faith  of  Treaties.— Morality  of  a 
Barbary  Chief.— His  Motto.— Actual  Disposition  of  these  Powers,  manifested  by 
their  general  Conduct 


Italy  more  exposed  than  ever  to  the  Depredations  of  the  Barbary  Corsairs. — Conse- 
quences of  no  more  Captives  being  made.— Prisoners  of  War.— Their  probable 
Treatment  by  the  Barbarians.— Illustrations.— Necessity,  Justice,  and  Utility  of 
more  powerful  Measures.— Various  Reflections  ;  and  Anecdote  of  an  English  Sea- 
man.—Importance  to  Europe  of  colonizing  Northern  Africa.— Its  amazing  Fecun- 
dity.  Facility  of  penetrating  into  the   Interior  from  that  Direction.- Splendor  of 

the  Enterprize. — Its  Advantages  to  Antiquarian  Research,  Science,  and  the  useful 
Arts. — Observations,  &c • ^^^ 


Difficulties  likely  to  attend  the  Enterprize.  — Remarks  on  the  Moorish  Character. 
— Ob.servations  on  the  Result  of  those  Expeditions  hitherto  sent  against  the  Infidels. 
—Want  of  Union,  and  popular  Nature  of  the  Barbary  Governments  favourable 



to  an  invadiug  Army.— Reasons  why  the  Moors  are  not  likely  lo  adhere  to  the 
Fortunes  of  their  present  Rulers.— As  easy  for  the  united  Powers  of  Europe  to 
colonize  Northern  Africa,  as  it  was  for  single  Nations  of  other  Times  to  do  so.— 
Hints  to  an  invading  Force.— Best  Time  to  effect  a  Landing.— Kind  of  Warfare 
most  adapted  to  Africa.— Necessity  of  Perseverance.— Importance  of  calling  in  the 
Aid  of  Political  Intrigue.— Comparison  between  the  Moors  and  savage  Nations.— 
Probability  of  the  former's  adopting  European  Manners  and  another  Religion.— 
Singular  Tradition  prevalent  in  Barbary.— Recollections  by  which  an  European 
Army  would  be  animated  on  landing  in  Africa. — Why  that  part  of  the  World  is  not 
as  susceptibleof  undergoing  a  great  political  Change  as  other  Countries.— Necessity 
of  employing  a  sufficient  Force,  and  of  the  Powers  of  Europe  being  unanimous  in 
the  Cause.— Nations  that  ought  to  direct  the  League.— Reflections 41'; 


Author's  Motives  for  proposing  the  Colonization  of  Northern  Africa.— Most  equi- 
table Line  of  Policy  to  be  pursued,  should  a  Descent  ever  be  made  in  that  Country. 
—Anecdote  and  Reflections.— Appeal  to  Princes,  Ministers,  People,  Philosophers, 
Orators,  Poets,  and  periodical  Writers  of  every  Country.— Eulogium  on  the  Anti- 
Piratical  Institution.— Conclusion ^^- 




Memoirs. — Origin  of  the  Voyage. — Fatal  Delay. — -Thames. —  The  Ocean. — 
Continuance  of  the  Voyage. — Rencontre.  —Coast  of  Fez. — Straits  and  Bay 
o/  Gibraltar. — Passage  vp  the  Mediterranean. — Arrival  at  the  Island  of 
San  Pietro. 

We  are  daily  in  the  habit  of  hearing  people  exclaim  :  "  What 
strange  adventures  mine  have  been  !  Why,  Sir,  my  life  is  a  per- 
fect romance!  I  have  really  a  great  mind  to  write  my  history!" 
When  those  who  have  played  an  important  part  in  the  theatre  of  life, 
and  made  sublime  experiments  on  fortune,  fall  from  power  and  splen- 
dor, they  naturally  enough  become  a  prey  to  ennui  :  in  order,  how- 
ever, to  shed  a  little  light  on  the  obscurity  of  their  retreat,  to  pre- 
serve some  recollection  of  that  name,  glory,  and  even  life  ;  which, 
to  use  the  expression  of  Pope,  seems  to  breathe  from  other  lips  ;  they 
take  to  writing  their  warlike  and  political  actions — and  being  no  lon- 
ger able  to  wield  the  sword  or  staff  of  office,  have  recourse  to  the 
pen  :  removed  from  the  worldly  stage,  by  choice  or  necessity,  they 
assume  the  more  modest  part  of  authors.  Hence  the  numberless  vo- 
lumes constantly  appearing  with  the  flattering  titles  of  Memoirs,  His- 
torical, PoUfical  and  Military  ;  including-  the  campaigns  of  (lene- 


2  MEM01R8. 

rat  **-^J^*,  written  by  himself.  Mes  rejìexions,  mon  portefeuille, 
mcs  pcnsées,  mes  souvenirs  !  &c. 

Far  from  being  able  to  boast  of  public  notoriety,  I  have  found 
myself  fallen  to  the  lowest  ebb  of  fortune,  and  shall  accordingly  de- 
tail my  ill-fated  adventures  ;  but  the  following  narrative  will  only 
include  a  short  period,  which  was,  however,  the  most  tempestuous  of 
my  whole  life,  if  that  which  has  been  so  fraught  with  struggles  and 
calamity  is  worthy  of  the  name  !  A  certain  people  of  antiquity  only 
counted  their  days  of  happiness;  amongst  whom,  a  wise  man  on 
the  point  of  death,  wrote  this  epitapli  for  himself:  I  have  passed 
/ifttf-six  years,  and  lived  four  !  All  who  contend  in  the  stormy 
sea  of  human  vicissitude,  may  be  compared  to  those  emblems  of 
alternate  happiness  and  miser\%  who,  after  having  tasted  nectar,  at 
the  table  of  the  gods,  sorrowfully  descended  into  the  region  of 
shadows  ;  joy  and  pleasure  passes  over  the  heart  like  the  transient 
breath  of  zephyrs  ;  while  it  is  furrowed  by  endless  griefs  and  bitter 

Shakspear  has  somewhere  obsei-ved,  that  felicity  comes  slowly, 
and  in  silence,  advancing  on  tiptoe  like  a  nocturnal  visitant  ;  while 
misfortune  attacks  in  close  battalions,  those,  who  are  destined  to  be 
the  victims  of  its  inflexible  decrees. 

Man  is  a  cpierulous  and  dissatisfied  animal  !  The  most  common 
exclamations  of  the  day  are,  "  Oh,  what  times!  What  places!  What 
people!  What  women!  What  devils!"  We  are  always  tired  of  the 
situation  in  which  we  are,  and  vainly  wishing  to  be  where  we  are 
not.  By  a  strange  fatality,  connected  with  that  love  of  change  so 
peculiar  to  our  nature,  it  occurred  to  myself,  and  a  few  others  of  my 
countrymen  to  abandon  England;  that  envied  nation,  which  has 
alone  remained  unshaken,  amidst  the  political  agitations  of  surround- 
ing states,  and  generously  opened  its  bosom  to  the  exiled  wanderers 
of  other  countries,  equally  fostering  the  native  plant,  and  foreign 
stem,  blown  upon  its  coast  by  the  revolutionary  tempest.  Yes!  anx- 
ious once  more  to  behold  my  native  land,  and  breathe  the  delightful 


air  of  an  Italian  sky,  I  no  longer  remembered  the  words  of  a 
celebrated  poet  that, 

Bramo  di  meglio  star,  rende  infelice; 

or,  that  we  can  no  where  be  so  well  situated  as  amongst  our  friends. 
It  was  reserved  for  me  to  learn,  by  bitter  experience,  that  happiness 
has  its  source  within  ourselves,  and  does  not  proceed  from  without  ; 
but  we  do  not  know  how  to  collect  the  pure  stream,  or  direct  its  natu- 
ral and  easy  course.  It  is  said,  that  an  eastern  monarch  once  offered 
a  large  reward  to  any  of  his  subjects,  who  would  come  before  him 
and  swear  they  had  enjoyed  constant  happiness  :  two  persons  presented 
themselves,  a  husband  and  his  wife  ;  these  attested  that,  united  by 
the  tender  ties  of  matrimony,  their  felicity  had  long  equalled  that  of  the 
golden  age,  and  they  were  perfectly  reconciled  to  their  condition.  "  If 
so,"  replied  the  king,  "  and  you  are  as  happy  as  you  pretend  to  be, 
you  would  not  have  come  in  search  of  my  proffered  riches  ;  no, 
you  have  wants,  desires,  and  ambition  ;  go,  therefore,  you  are  not 
the  fortunate  beings  I  look  for,  and  for  whose  appearance  I  shall 
most  likely  have  yet  to  wait  a  long  time." 

The  project  was  at  first  a  mere  fugitive  idea  ;  one  of  those  fancies 
which  often  obtrude  themselves  to  fill  up  a  blank  in  the  cold  mono- 
tony of  life.  It  would,  like  many  others  of  a  similar  description, 
have  fallen  to  the  ground,  if  more  maturely  considered,  had  not 
two  false  and  interested  friends,  of  whom  there  are  so  many,  ever 
ready  to  betray  the  incredulous,  stimulated  the  execution,  and 
finally  succeeded,  by  pretexts  the  most  specious  and  absurd,  in  per- 
suading me  to  sacrifice  friends,  fortune,  and  tranquillity,  for  the  de- 
lusive hope  of  futui-e  advantage,  destined,  alas  !  to  terminate  in  niin 
and  disappointment.  I  have  heard  of  a  literary  character,  who  kept 
a  small  book,  which  he  called  the  "  catalogue  of  his  friends,''  on 
the  first  page  was  written  Heart,  with  two  or  three  names  under  it  ; 
the  second  had  Table  on  it  ;  and  the  third  Purse.     The  fiiends  of  the 

B  2 


table  and  purse  had  been  very  numerous,  but  were  at'terwards  erased, 
on  the  fourth  page  was  inscribed  Masks,  the  names  which  followed 
filled  the  rest  of  the  book  ;  those  of  our  friends  who  are  attracted  by  the 
table  and  purse,  may,  with  propriety,  be  placed  under  the  fourth 
article  of  the  catalogue.  The  proverb  says,  where  mi/  friends  are, 
there  is  my  treasure.  It  might  be  added,  that  sycophants  only 
offer  their  friendship  where  something  is  to  be  gained.  Such 
were  the  motives  which  actuated  the  persons  to  whom  I  am  indebted 
for  an  opportunity  of  penning  these  memoirs.  To  a  candid  and 
honourable  mind,  in  which  suspicion  has  no  place,  nothing  is  so  diffi- 
cult to  <;onceive,  as  the  ingratitude  of  one  whom  you  have  assisted. 
I  will  not,  however,  deny  the  extent  and  Aveakness  of  my  own  cre- 
dulity ;  and  having  sutfered  the  fatal  consequences  of  bad  advice, 
merely  wish  to  warn  others  by  my  example,  qui  ne  suit  se  rtsoudre 
aux  conseils,  s'ahandonne  ;  and  according  to  a  Chinese  proverb,  the 
fool  asks  other  people  to  explain  the  cause  of  his  errors,  while  the 
wise  man  enquires  within  himself.* 

From  the  superior  accommodations,  and  its  various  other  advan- 
tages, I  had  of  course  determined  to  take  my  passage  in  a  British  vessel  ; 
but  this  design  was  frustiated,  by  the  officious  zeal  and  baleful  soli- 
citude of  my  imaginary  friends,  who,  by  many  arguments,  which  it  is 

*  In  this  part  of  the  original  work,  there  is  a  very  long  note,  in  which  the  author 
minutely  enters  into  a  variety  of  little  details,  relative  to  the  perfidious  conduct  of  those 
people,  who  persuaded  him  to  leave  England  ;  at  a  time  when  his  interests  could  not  have 
been  better  consulted  than  by  remaining  there.  And  although  written  with  all  the  humo- 
rous energy  of  Mr.  Pananti's  pen,  I  have  not  thought  it  sufficiently  connected  with  the  great 
object  of  his  memoirs,  to  be  introduced  in  the  translation.  From  what  has  been  said,  he 
may  safely  calculate  upon  the  warmest  sympathy  of  a  nation,  whose  virtues  he  has  so 
generously  appreciated;  and  the  paramount  force  of  self-approbation  must  ultimately  ena- 
ble him  to  look  down  with  a  mixture  of  pity  and  contempt  on  his  betrayers.  Sincerely 
anxious  to  promote  his  happiness,  I  am  sure  the  introduction  of  too  much  matter,  purely 
of  a  personal  nature,  into  a  work  of  this  description,  could  not  in  any  way  tend  to  that 
desirable  object,  while  it  mightf/es/roy,  in  some  measure ,  the  interest  which  its  perusal  will, 
I  trust,  be  found  calculated  to  excite  in  the  English  reader. — Ed. 


now  unnecessary  to  relate,  prevailed  on  me  to  embark  on  board  a 
Sicilian  brig  bound  to  Palermo,  which  was  to  sail  with  the  tirst 
Mediterranean  convoy,  and  this  had  already  began  to  collect  at  Spit- 
head.  Having,  therefore,  made  the  usual  preparations  for  a  sea  voy- 
age, I  hastened  to  join  the  other  passengers,  who  were  embarked  at 
Gravesend,  and  liad  scarcely  occupied  my  birth  on  board,  when  the 
master,  without  assigning  any  reason  whatever,  returned  to  London, 
and  remained  there  three  whole  days,  leaving  us  all  in  a  state  of  the 
most  ])ainful  anxiety,  as  to  the  alarming  consequences  that  might 
result  from  the  convoy's  quitting  Portsmouth  before  our  arrival  there. 
At  length,  when  patience  was  exhausted,  and  we  began  seriously  to 
think  some  accident  had  befallen  our  hero,  he  condescended  to  make 
his  appearance,  and,  with  a  superficial  apology,  in  which  patience 
and  resignation  were  modestly  inculcated,  resumed  his  nautical  avo- 
oations.  Thus,  it  too  frequently  happens  with  those  who,  like  us,  have 
committed  themselves  to-  the  mercy  of  some  ignorant  merchant  cap- 
tain, and,  without  a  previous  enquiry  into  his  character,  been  even 
prevailed  on  to  advance  the  passage-money  before  sailing  ;  to  which 
circumstance  we  might  with  great  justice  attribute  our  ultimate  hard- 
ships and  disasters.  Referring  to  the  unblushing  impudence  of  this 
man,  in  having  thus  attempted  to  excuse  himself  for  keeping  us  wait- 
ing, while  he  ^>'as  occupied  in  playing  the  fine  gentleman  on  the 
pave  of  the  metropolis,  it  is  also  a  stiiking  illusti-ation  of  the  extreme 
facility  with  which  most  people  become  reconciled  to  themselves, 
without  a  very  scrupulous  regard  to  the  feelings  of  others  ;  every 
thing  is  now  accommodated  by  the  laconic  phrase  of:  "  /  beg  your 
pardon .'"  Does  any  one  jostle  up  against  you  in  the  street,  and  en- 
danger a  limb,  he  l>egs  pardon  and  passes  on,  as  if  nothing  had  hap- 
pened. Another  makes  you  wince  again,  by  unmercifully  treading  on  an 
ill-fated  corn:  this  is  coolly  compromised  by,  "really.  Sir,  I  humbly 
beg  pardon,  but  I  didn't  mean  it!"  If  in  argument  any  one  takes  the 
words  out  of  your  mouth,  and  by  a  flat  contradiction,  plausibly  gives 
you  the  lie,  he  merely  begs  pardon  :   so  it  is  with  the  intruder  on  your 


stuflies,  or  more  importunate  creditor;  all  in  this  AvorUl  is  rendered 
palatable  by  asking  pardon,  and  I  am  even  obliged  to  solicit  that  of 
the  reader,  for  this  unseasonable  digression. 

While  thus  impatiently  looking  forward  to  the  moment  of  sailing, 
what  was  our  mortification  on  seeing  the  departure  of  the  convoy 
announced?  The  so  much  dreaded  event,  which  at  once  exposed  us 
to  the  danger  of  crossing  the  ocean  w  ithout  protection,  and  liable  to 
capture  by  numerous  enemies,  our  only  consolation  in  this  dilemma, 
was  a  pompous  oration  from  the  skipper,  who  differed  from  us  in  toto 
as  to  the  perils  of  our  impending  situation,  and  triumphantly  con- 
cluded several  impertinent  remarks,  by  drawing  his  own  pane- 
gyric, in  which  after  deiiding  our  childish  apprehensions,  he  repre- 
sented himself  as  a  most  experienced  seaman,  and  so  excellent  a 
navigator,  that  in  addition  to  his  perfect  knowledge  of  the  winds, 
stars,  latitudes,  and  longitudes,  he  recollected  all  the  bays,  headlands, 
rocks,  and  shoals  in  our  course,  as  well  as  his  avemaria  !  He  doubt- 
less, in  tliis  moment  of  exultation,  fancied  himself  another  Typhis; 
and  like  Ctesar  seemed  to  imagine  that  his  fortune  would  carry  us 
through  every  difficulty.  Without  entering  into  the  merits  of  this 
boaster,  we  soon  after  had  many  opportunities  of  witnessing  the  usual 
effect  of  pride  and  presumption  ;  for  notwithstanding  all  his  gascon- 
ading, he  was  guilty  of  innumerable  Ijlunders  during  the  whole  course 
of  the  voyage.  That  which  a  Parisian  wit  said  of  an  author,  who  had 
been  much  praised  for  a  forthcoming  production,  which  totally  disap- 
pointed public  expectation,  might  with  equal  propriety  be  applied  to 
our  Palinurus  : — Nous  ltd  avons  avance  des  grands  fonds,  il  nous  a 
fait  hanqueroute. 

The  vessel's  name  was  the  Hero,  and  by  a  singular  coincidence 
of  rhetorical  contrivance,  it  was  also  that  of  the  commander.  We  had, 
however,  no  cause  to  congratulate  ourselves  on  his  AO«-f/«W«/ attributes, 
and  would  have  most  willingly  dispensed  with  such  flattering  epithets 
for  a  little  more  solidity.  Without  being  the  first  who  had  been  sacri- 
ficed to  the  folly  or  ambition  of  a  hero  ;  this  was  not  the  only  occa- 


sioii  in  which  I  was  taught  to  consider  that,  as  the  most  fatal  present 
which  Providence  can  bestow  on  mankind. 

Having,  at  length,  got  under  weigh,  we  proceeded  down  the 
Thames.  It  is  scarcely  possible  to  conceive  a  more  interesting  spectacle 
than  is  presented  by  this  niagniticent  stream,  with  its  prodigious  num- 
ber of  shipping,  concentrating  as  it  were  the  commercial  spirit  of 
the  universe,  and  whose  masts  form  a  perfect  forest  from  London 
bridge,  till  you  descend  several  miles.  There  is  even  an  indescribable 
iuajesty  in  the  stately  undulation  of  this  beautiful  river,  which  is  not 
a  little  heightened  l>y  the  romantic  and  picturesque  objects  that  adorn 
its  ))anks,  often  the  theme  of  poetic  admiration  :  it  has  no  wlier^  been 
described  with  more  force  and  dignity  than  in  the  celelirated  Coo- 
per's Hill  of  Sir  John  Denham  : 

Tho'  deep  yet  clear,  tho'  gentle  yet  not  dull, 
Strong  without  rage,  without  o'erflowing  full. 

I  have  ever  been  a  passionate  admirer  of  running  waters,  so  in- 
.strumental  in  keeping  up  the  communication,  and  maintaining  the 
prosperity  of  states.  The  philosopher  gravely  meditates  on  the  suc- 
ceeding wave,  and  rapidity  of  the  passing  stream.  Poets  delight  to 
wander  under  the  melancholy  shade  of  the  drooping  willow  ;  the  ex- 
ile, the  lover,  and  the  wretched,  sigh  in  unison  with  the  murmuring 

Super  fimnina  Babilonis  sedimus  etjlevimus  ! 

Rivers  have  a  great  analogy  to  the  heart,  and  reflections  of  the 
earthly  pilgrim.  They  seem  to  accompany  our  wandering  thoughts; 
reminding  us  of  the  rapidity  of  life,  and  its  more  fleeting  pleasures: 
they  are,  in  fact,  the  image  of  human  vicissitudes.  Men,  their  con- 
cerns, events  and  interests,  are  precipitated,  clash,  and  succeed  each 
other  like  the  ceaseless  torrent  ;  even  nations  may  be  said  to  flow  and 
pass  on  to  the  ocean  of  time,  finally  losing  themselves  in  the  vast  sea 
of  oblivion. 


Havina,-  quitted  the  Thames,  and  sailed  along  the  coast  of  Kent, 
we  had  a  tine  view  of  Dover  cliff,  immortalized  in  the  sublime  verses 
of  Shakspeare,  and  in  which  some  poets  have  recognized  the  genius 
of  Albion,  like  a  colossus,  extending  its  hospitable  arms  to  friendly 
nations.  Adieu  !  great  and  powerful  sovereign  of  the  ocean  ;  adieu, 
happy  countiy,  in  which  the  law  governs,  and  is  tempered  by  mercy  ; 
where  a  protecting  genii  still  cherishes  that  divine  spark  of  '  heavenly 
fJame,'  which,  according  to  Plato,  is  developed  in  those  climates 
favourable  to  liberty  and  virtue  ;  where,  in  fine,  as  observed  by  the 
Prince  de  Ligne,  prosperity,  freedom,  and  abundance,  appear  to 
contend  for  pre-eminence  ;  and  from  which  m  ealth,  l^eauty,  and  intel- 
lect ought  long  since  to  have  banished  that  splenetic  and  morbid  me- 
lancholy, which  has  sometimes  been  laid  to  the  charge  of  its  national 
character.  Farewell,  dear  and  respected  friends,  who  by  so  many 
proofs  of  benevolent  attention,  will  ever  live  in  my  warmest  recollec- 
lections.  That  your  evening  of  life  may  not  be  interrupted  by  any 
of  those  clouds  which  impede  the  progress  of  happiness  :  Yes  !  my 
kind  ti'iends,  gratitude  and  affection  bid  me  express  an  ardent  hope 
that  yours  may  be  a  tranquil  day,  so  justly  merited  by  hearts  fraught 
with  honour  and  generosity.* 

*  Such  are  the  very  flattering  sentiments  of  gratitude  and  applause,  suggested  by  the 
liberal  and  discriminating  mind  of  Mr.  Pananti,  forming  a  most  striking  contrast  with  tke 
conduct  of  many  French  emigrants,  who  had  much  more  reason  to  sing  the  praises  of 
Great  Britain;  and  have,  since  the  restoration  of  the  Bourbons,  either  forgotten  or  despised 
that  credulous  benefactress,  when  no  longer  required  to  support  their  broken  fortunes. 
Many  of  our  countrymen,  whom  the  travelling  mania  have  induced  to  give  up  the  une- 
qualled comforts  of  England,  for  the  insult,  robbery,  and  extortion  of  the  continent,  will 
bear  me  out  in  asserting  that  gratitude  is  not  a  prevailing  characteristic  of  La  grande  Na- 
tion :  a  fact  strongly  exemplified  in  the  conduct  of  great  numbers  of  emigrants,  amongst 
whom,  however,  1  feel  much  pleasure  in  acknowledging  there  are  many,  possessing  both 
talents  and  virtue.  While  at  Paris,  in  the  summer  of  1816,  a  young  medical  student,  who 
had  formerly  been  attached  to  the  military  profession,  and  for  six  weeks  gratuitously 

attended  the  Count  M ,  after  a  severe  fall  from  his  horse,  and  whom  the  capricious 

wheel  has  placed  in  the  household  of  Louis  le  desire,  took  occasion,   in  consequence  of  the 
previously  extorted  promise  to  that  effect,  to  leave  his  card  at  the  Count's,  then  basking  in 


The  ancients  had  two  amiable  divinities,  sacred  to  absence  and 
separation  :  one  of  these  consoling  deities,  presided  over  those  tender 
tViends,  whose  parting  was  blended  with  hopes  of  meeting  again. 
The  other  supported  those  who  were  left  behind,  and  destined  to  an- 
ticipate the  beloved  object's  return.  Let  us  indulge  a  hope,  that  such 
soothing  genii  have  not  ceased  to  sympathize  in  our  feelings,  and 
that  their  influence  is  still  exerted  over  kindred  minds,  whose  hearts, 

the  rays  of  the  Tuileries.  Some  days  after  M.  le  Compie  returned  the  visit,  and  after 
expending  a  volume  of  unmeaning  compliments,  during  which  tout  ce  quHl  avoit  was  libe- 
rally placed  at  the  disposal  of  my  friend  Mr.  B ,  he  retired  with  a  solemn  request 

that  whenever  he  was  inclined  to  see  the  opera,  he  had  only  to  .send  for  the  Count's  key  I 
This,  I  venture  to  say,  is  a  fair  specimen  of  that  kind  of  return  which  many  others  have 
experienced  under  similar  circumstances  ;  and  I  defy  the  lying  and  ignorant  scribbler  of 
Quinze  Jours,  and  Six  Mois  à  Londres,  to  disprove  it;  who,  by  the  way  of  at  once  makirtg 
himself  popular  in  France,  and  displaying  his  exquisite  knowledge  in  the  fine  arts,  modestly 
as.serts  that  the  sign-post  decorations  of  Vauxhall,  equalled  any  thing  he  saw  at  the  Spring 
Garden  exhibition!!!  If  the  wretched  followers  of  the  contemptible  Pillet,  who  in  a 
note  prefixed  to  the  last  edition  of  Six  Mois  à  Loiidres,  say  with  equal  modesty  and  truth, 
that  "  tous  les  Anglais  de  bonne  foi"  agree  to  the  principal  points  of  his  execrable  trash, 
I  would  recommend  the  consideration  of  anecdotes  like  the  above,  which  tend  in  some 
small  degree  to  unmask  a  nation,  that  ha.s  hitherto  exclusively  arrogated  to  itself  the  first 
rank  in  gallantry  and  politeness. 

Having  alluded  to  travelling,  I  cannot  close  this  note,  without  cordially  joining  in  that 
strong  feeling  of  regret,  which  the  thoughtless  spirit  of  emigration  has  so  justly  excited  in 
every  unbiassed  friend  of  his  country  :  a  spirit  which,  I  venture  to  prophecy,  will  in  the 
end  be  more  injurious  to  the  happiness  of  its  advocates,  than  to  the  nation  :  which,  how- 
ever severely  it  may  now  feel  tlieir  absence,  must,  in  the  course  of  a  little  time,  learn  to 
despise  those,  who  having  fattened  on  its  prosperity,  leave  it  at  a  period  of  national 
distress,  when  their  continuance  at  home  could  not  fail  to  have  been  eminently  beneficial 
to  the  community.  The  easy  facility  with  which  so  many  families  of  opulence  and  dis- 
tinction continue  to  squander  the  treasures  of  the  mother  country  on  the  continent,  is 
certainly  not  the  most  amiable  feature  of  the  times  we  live  in.  And  upon  what  pretences 
do  they  justify  such  a  line  of  conduct?  Change  of  air,  cheap  living,  and  the  education 
of  their  children  !  The  absurd  futility  of  these  reasons,  will,  I  am  sure,  be  acknowledged 
by  two  thirds  of  the  English  residents  now  in  France  :  which  number,  if  the  mass  of 
information  I  have  received  be  correct,  have  abundant  cause  to  regret  their  having  ever 
left  England.  When  the  arrangements  which  oblige  them  to  remain  there  for  the  present, 
are  at  an  end,  it  is  hoped  that  the  salutary  experience  of  emigration,  aided  by  some  small 
sense  of  patriotism,  will  lead  to  their  return.     To  parents  and  guardians  I  would  briefly 



no  distance  should  separate.  The  last  glance  of  England,  was  by 
myiseli"  and  companions,  attended  with  a  feeling  of  regret  only  to  be 
cooceived  by  those  in  similar  situations.  If,  says  an  ingenious  living 
poet,*  Adieu,  dare  not  be  pronounced;  it  ought  to  be  at  least  indicated 
by  a  sigh;  expressed,  it  should  expire  on  the  lips;  and  when  written, 
be  blotted  out  with  a  tear  ! 

To  those  unpracticed  in  a  sea  life,  the  moment  which  detaches 

say,  that  a  knowledge  of  French,  dancing,  and  music,  are  but  iii  exchanged  for  the 
destruction  of  morals.  And  as  to  the  uniform  hatred  to  England,  constantly  manifested 
by  extortion,  abuse,  and  shameful  partiality,  it  is  too  notorious  to  require  illustration. 
The  public  has  been  made  tolerably  well  acquainted  with  the  demoralized  state  of  our 
neighbours,  their  thorough  contempt  of  religion,  and  all  those  minor  virtues  dependant  on 
it,  by  which  society  can  alone  be  held  together.  With  all  this  before  their  eyes,  from  the 
most  authentic  sources,  individuals  can  have  no  excuse  for  seeking  that  happiness  abroad, 
which  they  have  hitherto  looked  for  in  vain,  except  by  moderating  their  views,  and  quietly 
sitting  down  in  their  own  country.  What  would  one  of  those  scribbling  calumniators,  who 
have  been  enriched  by  abusing  the  British  nation,  have  said,  if  after  having  paid  for  his 
dinner  in  a  London  coffee-house,  and  when  about  to  retire,  he,  together  with  his  friend, 
were  called  upon  to  pay  a  second  time,  their  decorous  remonstrance  had  induced  the 
landlord  to  call  in  a  file  of  grenadiers,  who  after  an  unmerciful  beating,  dragged  them  to 
a  dungeon  six  feet  by  eight,  and  keeping  them  three  days  without  any  communication 
with  their  friends,  then  condescended  to  turn  them  into  the  street,  without  farther  redress 
or  explanation  ?  What,  I  will  ask,  would  one  of  these  barefaced  liars  say,  if  after  having 
hired  a  boat  to  descend  the  Thames,  embarked  himself  and  property  in  it,  paid  the  price 
of  his  agreement  in  advance,  the  boatman  took  an  opportunity  of  landing  him  on  the  way, 
and  then  setting  off  without  him,  but  taking  off  his  effects  ;  and  who  on  being  afterwards  disco- 
vered with  the  stolen  goods  upon  his  person,  was  regularly  consigned  to  the  hands  of 
justice,  but  quietly  liberated  in  three  days  without  the  smallest  punishment  ?  What  would 
any  liberal  Frenchman  say,  if  either  of  the  above  circumstances  had  befallen  him  in  Lon- 
don, as  they  have  to  others  of  my  acquaintance  in  France?     Which  Mr.  De  C can 

attest,  both  instances  having  actually  occurred  during  his  own  administration.  Let  us, 
therefore,  hear  no  more  of  the  Code  Napoleon  ;  but 

rather  bear  those  ills  we  have. 

Than  fly  to  others  that  we  know  not  of.  Ed. 

*  Mr.  William  Spencer,  a  friend  of  the  author. Some  days  after  this  sheet  was 

revised,  a  writer  in  the  Morning  Chronicle  favoured  the  public  with  the  following  neat 


An  adieu  should  in  utterance  die— 

If  written,  but  faintly  appear- 
Only  heard  in  the  burst  of  a  sigh — 
Only  seen  in  the  drop  of  a  tear.  Ed. 


you  from  land,  and  all  the  busy  scenes  of  social  life,  is  particularly 
saddening  ;  the  landsman,  thus  thrown  upon  the  pathless  waste  of 
waters,  buffetted  by  winds  and  waves,  and  beset  with  a  thousanti 
perils,  requires  no  small  degree  of  fortitude  successfully  to  bear  up 
against  his  destiny.  Sea-sickness  too,  that  most  intolerable  of  nautical 
evils,  embittered  by  a  monotonous  recurrence  of  the  same  objects,  all 
conspire  to  increase  that  horror  which  the  inexperienced  naturally 
feel  towards  the  watery  element;  that  voracious  gulph  which,  indis- 
criminately swallows  up  the  plundered  wealth  of  nations,  and  the 
more  honest  fruits  of  toilful  industry. 

We  considered  ourselves  as  peculiarly  wretched  in  being  alone 
at  this  inauspicious  and  warlike  period.  Most  people,  on  such  occa- 
sions, look  forward  with  pleasurable  anxiety  to  the  meeting  of  sti'ange 
vessels,  and  prospects  of  again  hearing  the  profound  silence  of  the 
ocean  broken  by  human  voices.  Not  so  with  us  : — lavniched  forth  in  our 
crazy  bark,  on  a  track  which  swarmed  av  ith  privateers,  every  sail  that 
appeared,  excited  suspicion,  and  tended  to  keep  us  in  a  state  of  con- 
stant uneasiness. 

It  is  true  that  amidst  all  this  tedium  and  suffering,  we  were  occa- 
sionally enlivened  with  the  recollections  inspired  by  several  memorable 
spots  that  lay  in  our  course.  La  Hogue,  Cape  St.  Vincent,  and  Tra- 
falgar, could  not  fail  to  revive  the  names  of  Rooke,  Jei-vis  and 
Nelson  ;  and  an  ardent  mind  in  traversing  scenes  so  often  renowned 
by  British  valour,  might  still  fancy  himself  on  the  territory  of  Albion. 
The  most  original  and  deservedly  popular  poet  of  the  present  day, 
Lord  Byron,'^  has,  perhaps  unintentionally,  though  with  his  usual 

*  It  is  no  inconsiderable  proof,  if  any  were  wanting,  in  favour  of  Lord  Byron's 
extraordinary  genius,  that  his  poetry  is  sought  after  with  avidity  both  in  France,  Germany, 
and  Italy,  while  an  unaccountable  degree  of  ignorance  seems  to  prevail  in  all  these  coun- 
tries, with  regard  to  the  exact  state  of  that  branch  of  literature  in  the  united  kingdom,  or 
the  galaxy  of  genius  which  has  adorned  our  poetical  hemisphere  during  the  last  twenty 
year.<!.     Some   months   ago   on    the  rqad    between    Florence   and    Rome,   I   accidentally 

passed  an  evening  in  the  society  of  a  celebrated  literary  character  of  Geneva,   Mr.  S , 

who  has  not  only  been  in  England,  but  understands  the  language  very  well,  and  was  not 

C    i 

12  BAY    OP    BISCAY. 

elegance,  pourtrayed  the  naval  superiority  of  his  country  in  the  fol- 
lowing- beautifiil  lines  : 

O'er  the  glad  waters  of  the  dark  bhie  sea, 
Our  thoughts  as  boundless,  and  our  souls  as  free  ; 
Far  as  the  breeze  can  bear  the  billows'  foam, 
Survey  our  empire,  and  behold  our  home  ! 
These  are  our  realms,  no  limits  to  their  sway — 
Our  flag  the  sceptre  all  who  meet  obey. 

It  is  really  grand  to  reflect  on  the  profound  and  unconfined  limits 
of  the  deep  :  with  immensity  over  our  head  and  beneath  our  feet,  the 
splendor  and  majesty  of  the  divine  Architect  is  nowhere  more  conspi- 
cuous or  sublime  than  in  the  endless  expansion  of  the  heavens,  and 
immeasurable  depths  of  the  ocean. 

Traversing  the  famous  Bay  of  Biscay  without  encountering  many 
of  those  inconveniences,  of  a  high  sea  and  tempestuous  element, 
which  voyagers  generally  complain  of,  we  successively  passed  the 
Asturias,  Galicia,  and  Estremadura,  the  sight  of  which  gave  rise  to 
that  sympathetic  admiration,  inspired  by  the  glorious  example  ©f 
Spain,  .struggling  for  her  long  lost  rights  and  liberties,  against  the 
unprovoked  tyrant  of  those  days,  perhaps  the  most  important  poli- 
tical lesson  of  modem  times,  in  which  it  was  amply  proved  how  much 
a  whole  people  can  do,  when  once  and  unanimously  determined  to 
support  their  liberties  and  maintain  their  independence.  By  whatever 
.strange  combinations  of  events  and  cruel  fatality,  Spain  has  since 
fallen  from  her  proud  station,  and  exhibited  a  melancholy  proof  of  that 
degradation,  which  bad  government  can  bring  upon  a  nation  ;  it 
will  be  the  future  historian's  gratifying  task  to  pay  his  just  tribute  of 
applause  to  the  tried  fidelity  and  unshaken  courage  of  this  brave  peo- 
ple, unequalled  in  the  heroic  annals  of  Pelagius  and  the  Cid.     Our 

a  little  surprized,  on  repeating  the  names  of  Moore,  Rogers,  Southey,  Campbell,  Crabbe, 
Montgomery,  and  a  host  of  other  popular  poets,  to  find  that  he  had  never  heard  many  of 
those  names  before,  or  read  their  compositions  !  I  confess  I  do  not  envy  those,  who  living 
in  an  age  when  so  many  foolish  books  are  read  and  written,  are  deprived  of  the  exquisite 
pleasure,  and  intellectual  improvement,  which  the  English  poets  of  the  present  day,  are  so 
pre-eminently  capable  of  affording  to  the  reader  of  every  country. — Ed. 


vicinity  to  Corumia  and  Ferrol  recalled  to  mind  the  names  of  many 
celebrated  chiets  who  will  long  live  in  Spanish  story,  and  were  at  this 
moment  bravely  contending  for  the  restoration  of  their  legitimate 
sovereign.  Amongst  others,  Porlier,  and  Mina,  the  distinguished 
Guerilla  leader;  men,  who  were  really  entitled  to  the  flattering 
epithet  of  liherales,  and  without  whose  patriotic  efforts,  Ferdinand 
the  Vllth  might  have  passed  a  few  more  years  of  his  valuable  life, 
in  the  dungeons  of  Napoleon  Buonaparte.* 

*  The  very  name  of  Spain,  at  the  present  crisis  of  its  history,  is  sufficient,  in  the  most 
ordinary  mind,  to  awaken  a  thousand  contending  feelings  of  sorrow  and  indignation  :  of 
sorrow  for  the  cruelly  unmerited  sufferings  of  a  brave  and  generous  people,  doomed  to 
see  their  late  unexampled  efforts  in  the  great  cause  of  European  liberty  and  national  inde- 
pendence, rewarded  with  political  slavery  on  the  one  hand,  and  religious  bigotry  on  the 
other  :  of  indignation  at  the  perfidious  ingratitude  manifested  to  ourselves  in  the  total 
exclusion  of  our  manufactures,  and  oppression  of  our  merchants.t  Yes!  such  has  been 
the  return  to  this  country,  whose  best  blood  and  treasure  have  been  so  profusely  sacrificed 
to  restore  His  Most  Catholic  Majesty  Ferdinand  the  Seventh  !  while,  strange  anomaly  !  his 
government  could  not,  even  now,  sustain  itself  without  the  continued  support  of  England 
and  her  rich  capitalists.  The  political  history  of  the  present  time,  involving,  as  it  does, 
a  heap  of  the  most  incongruous  absurdities  ever  invented  by  the  united  follies  of  mankind, 
cannot  be  too  faithfully  handed  down  to  posterity,  as  a  salutary  warning  to  all  future 
generations.  Another  point,  inseparably  connected  with  the  above,  cannot  be  passed  over 
in  silence;  I  allude  to  the  great  cause  of  South  American  independence,  that  of  the  whole 
human  race.  By  what  blindness  of  heart  and  contempt  of  wisdom,  have  the  European 
powers  coldly  witnessed  the  accumulated  horrors  of    that  bitter  contest,  which  has  for 

tit  is  notperhaps  generally  known  to  the  British  public,  that  amongst  the  legal  means  adopted  by  the 
Spanish  government,  to  improve  its  exhausted  treasury,  it  some  time  ago  levied  a  tax  of  eight  per  cent. 
of  the  whole  value,  on  English  cotton  goods,  for  the  permission  of  selling  them  in  Spain,  after  the  pro- 
hibitory laws  were  promulgated  ;  while  those  very  goods  had  paid  the  regular  imposts  on  their  original 
entry!  It  will  also  be  gratifying  to  the  admirers  of  Ferdinand,  if  any  remain,  to  know,  that  in  addition 
to  the  most  rigorous  measures  now  pursued  against  the  introduction  of  British  manufactures,  a  decree  is 
in  existence,  by  virtue  of  which,  the  farther  privilege  to  sell  those  goods  already  prohibited,  will  finally 
cease  in  March.  As  a  specimen  of  the  dilapidated  state  of  the  Spanish  treasury,  and  the  utter  impos- 
sibility in  which  its  government  finds  itself  of  raising  money,  when  the  new  Queen  of  Spain  arrived  at 
Cadiz  from  the  Brazils,  there  were  absolutely  no  means  of  paying  the  expcnces  of  her  journey  to  Madrid  ; 
and  her  majesty  would  have  had  quietly  to  sit  down  there,  had  it  not  been  lor  the  well-timed  generosity 
of  the  Roman  consul,  who  advanced  ten  thousand  dollars  for  this  purpose.  And  yet  such  is  the  government 
that  still  indulges  a  hope  of  enslaving  South  America  .'  I  ! 

14  FREKDOM    or    SOUTH    AMKRICA. 

By  tlie  way  of  lieigliteuiiig-  the  pleasures  of  our  voyage,  and  adding 
to  its  already  fatiguing  sameness,  we  had  several  flays  calm  in  this 
quarter;  which,  by  giving  more  time  for  reflection,  did  not  serve  to 
diminish  oiu'  apprehension  of  being  captured.  The  sage,  says  an 
eastern  moralist,  dreads  a  calm,  while  he  travels  with  indifference 
and  composure,  in  the  tempest. 

The  wisdom  of  this  maxim  was  somewhat  exemplified  by  a  violent 
storm,  which  arose,  on  our  arrival  on  the  coast  of  Portugal,   along 

nearly  six  years,  desolated  the  new  world,  without  one  solitary  e3brt  of  a  decided  nature, 
to  arrest  the  progress  of  an  annihilation  ?  Will  all  the  hardened  sophistry  of  idle  declama- 
tion, attempt  to  assert,  that  a  totally  different  line  of  conduct  in  the  cabinets  of  Europe, 
was  not  prompted  by  the  interests  and  duties  of  Christianity;  or  that  the  state  of  the  world, 
and  advancement  of  civilization,  did  not  fully  justify,  and  even  render  necessary,  a  mea- 
sure, which,  emanating  from  the  Congress  of  Vienna,  would,  in  the  mere  shape  of  a  decla- 
ration, have  by  a  stroke  of  the  pen,  at  once  settled  the  simple  question  between  Spain  and 
her  colonies?  thus,  saving  to  humanity  the  tears  it  has  shed,  during  this  monstrous  and 
unnatural  warfare  ;  that  body  might  have  washed  away  some  parts  of  the  stain,  caused  by 
the  transfer  of  Genoa,  and  other  continental  arrangements.  The  shallow  artifices  employed 
by  those  lukewarm  politicians,  who  advocate  our  fatal  policy  in  this  struggle,  can  only  be 
exceeded  by  the  extreme  futility  of  their  reasoning  in  its  justification,  arising  from  that 
inexhaustible  source  of  errors  and  of  crimes — state  policy  ! 

Among  many  of  those  reasons  assigned  for  the  strict  neutrality  of  this  country,  we  are 
gravely  warned  of  the  consequences  accruing  to  France,  from  the  part  she  took  in  the  dis- 
pute with  our  own  colonies.  This  is  one  of  the  most  feasible  pretexts  I  have  seen  ;  and  yet, 
after  carefully  examining  its  various  bearings,  will  any  man  in  his  senses  go  so  far  as  to  say, 
that  the  French  revolution,  with  all  its  massacres,  would  not  have  taken  place,  had  the 
North  Americans  never  revolted?  Besides,  are  we  to  reap  no  benefit  from  experience  like 
that  of  the  last  twenty-five  years  ;  or  does  the  actual  state  of  Europe  bear  any  reasonable 
comparison  with  that  of  1789?  Surely  there  are  periods  in  the  history  of  nations,  when 
the  antiquated  maxims  of  other  days  should  not  be  adhered  to  in  a  totally  different  state  of 
society  ?  Every  consideration  of  this  momentous  subject,  undeniably  shews,  in  my  hum- 
ble opinion,  the  sound  policy,  and  absolute  moral  necessity  of  England's  taking  a  new  and 
decided  part  in  this  question.  She  has  liberated  Europe  from  the  iron  yoke  of  Buonaparte  ; 
let  her  now  crown  the  work  of  immortality  by  standing  up,  and  boldly  proclaiming  the 
independence  of  South  America. 

With  respect  to  the  jealousy  which  so  glorious  a  measure  might  excite  in  our  neigh- 
bours; and  upon  which  it  has  been  in  this  case  found  convenient  to  lay  a  particular  stress; 
let  MS  obey  the  dictates  of  honour  and  of  justice  ;  and  the  Divinity,  who  cannot  look 
down  witli  indifference  upon  such  sacrifices,  will  be  our  best  guarantee. 


which  our  vessel  was  liuvried witli  the  utmost,  rapidity;  not,  however, 
without  enabliiig-  us  to  enjoy  a  uiagnificent  view  of  the  rock  of  Lis- 
bon, entrance  of  the  Tagus,  and  beautiful  coast  adjoiniug:  we  even 
found  ourselves  in  sight  of  the  celebrated  field  of  Viniiera,  where 
the  first  flag  of  victory  was  unfmled,  which  has  since  immortalized  the 
Hannibal  and  Fabius  of  the  uuited  kingdom.  The  charms  of  this 
scene  were  still  farther  embellished,  by  the  appearance  of  two  large 
convoys  entering  the  Tagus.  I  regretted  our  not  following  their  ex- 
ample, asl  might  then  have  had  somethiug  to  say  of  the  city  of  Ulysses, 
and  countiy  of  Camoens.  I  do  not,  however,  intend  to  imitate  some 
modern  travellers,  and  amongst  others,  oue  upon  whose  diary  the 
following  remark  was  written  : — On  Tuesday,  the  loth,  passed  within 
ten  miles  of  the  Island  of  Borneo.  N.  B.  The  inhabitants  appeared 
to  be  very  handsome  ! 

A  violent  north-east  gale,  having  driven  us  beyond  the  strait  of 
Gibraltar,  we  had  already  advanced  very  considerably  in  the  Atlantic, 
and  began  to  apprehend,  that  the  terrific  genius  of  the  waters,  who 
had  once  opposed  the  progress  of  Vasco  de  Gama,  might  also  come 
in  contact  with  us  poor  wanderers.  Being  on  rather  a  frequented  track, 
the  scene  was  a  little  varied  one  morning,  by  our  meeting  two  Eng- 
lish  ships  returning  from  India,    one  of  whom  sent  their  boat  on 

Viewing  this  question,  as  it  regards  the  general  interests  of  the  European  family,  there 
are  many  who  assert,  that  our  redundant  population  and  exhausted  commerce,  have  ren- 
dered that  great  continent  indispensably  necessary  to  our  future  support  and  commercial 
enterprize  :  so  that,  leaving  out  the  innumerable  other  important  points  so  closely  connected 
with  it,  the  most  powerful  motives  of  self-interest  require  our  speedy  interference,  painfully 
anxious  that  our  own  beloved  country  should  reap  all  the  honor  of  so  splendid  an  achieve- 
ment. I  have,  in  these  few  remarks,  principally  directed  my  attention  to  his  majesty's 
government.  But,  in  conclusion,  I  will  venture  to  add,  that  nothing  would  more  forcibly 
tend  to  regain  the  lost  confidence  of  nations,  than  a  simultaneous  expression  of  the  respec- 
tive cabinets  in  favour  of  the  persecuted  Spanish  colonies.  If  delayed  but  a  very  short  time, 
it  does  not  require  much  sagacity  to  foresee  that  the  South  Americans  will  inevitably  obtain 
that  for  themselves,  which  the  blind  fatalism  of  European  policy  refused:  then,  indeed,  we 
may  have  reason,  ere  long,  to  tremble  for  the  consequences,  to  which  a  rallying  point,  so 
constituted,  might  give  rise  in  the  best  regulated  states  of  the  Old  World. — £d. 


hoard,  and  with  that  avidity,  so  natural  to  the  nation,  immediately 
enquired  how  they  w ere  goins:  on  in  Europe,  and  whetlier  we  could 
by  any  possibility  feast  their  eyes  with  the  sight  of  a  newspaper.  As 
it  happened,  we  were  enabled  to  gratify  them  in  both  ways,  as  besides 
several  papers,  we  had  the  pleasure  of  announcing  the  recent  victo- 
ries of  Lord  Wellington;  the  result  of  the  Russian  campaign,  and  first 
efforts  of  the  German  league  ;  all  apparently  matters  of  the  highest 
interest  to  our  visitors,  who  confessed  that  a  newspaper  was  then  the 
most  valuable  present  they  could  receive.  It  ^\as  curious  thus,  to 
have  established  a  species  of  scientific  and  literary  cabinet  on  the  wes- 
tern ocean,  in  which  the  great  concerns  of  Europe  were  as  freely  dis- 
cussed and  considered,  as  they  could  be  in  a  British  House  of  Commons. 
In  return  for  om'  little  attentions,  they  kindly  presented  us  with  some 
excellent  Madeira,  which,  in  addition  to  its  other  exhilarating  quali- 
ties, enabled  us  to  drink  to  the  success  of  the  allied  armies,  the  pro- 
gress of  legitimate  and  moderate  governments,  to  the  health  of  our 
friends  in  London,  Canton  and  Calcutta;  that  of  the  Brahmins  of 
Benares,  and  the  independent  members  of  the  English  parliament! 
Having  poured  this  grateful  libation,  we  separated  with  all  the  regret 
of  old  acquaintances. 

While  in  this  situation,  we  were  during  the  day,  exposed  to  a 
scorching  sun,  which,  besides  its  inconvenience,  formed  a  striking 
contrast  with  the  delightful  serenity  of  the  nights,  which  are  won- 
derfully fine  in  these  latitudes.  An  author  has  somewhere  observed, 
that  day  was  made  for  the  voluptuous  followers  of  paganism  ;  while 
night,  and  the  studded  firmament,  is  calculated  to  inspire  the  pro- 
fessors of  a  purer  doctrine.  The  immortality  of  the  soul  seems  to  be 
more  clearly  demonstrated  in  the  starry  heavens;  the  splendor  of  day 
dazzles  the  eyes  of  those  who  think  they  see  into  futurity. 

Pursuing  the  voyage,  and  while  endeavouring  to  regain  our  lost 
ground,  the  first  land  we  made,  was  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Salice, 
so  famous  for  its  rovers,  the  worst  pirates  of  their  time.  Nor  dared  we 
diseml)ark,  lest  a  modern  Taums  should  have  been  found  amongst 


tliose  still  uncivilized  savages.  The  fine  range  ol'  Atlas  was  seen 
in  the  distance,  and  along  tlie  coast  several  minarets  and  other  build- 
ings of  various  shapes,  together  with  many  well  cultivated  vallies  ; 
the  whole  forming  an  exceedingly  picturesque  scene.* 

Sailing  round  Cape  Spartel,  we  at  length  entered  the  Straits  of 
Gibraltar,  and  were  much  gratified  by  the  grand  scenery  on  each 
side,  finely  terminated  by  the  rock  towering  in  the  distance.  Owing 
to  the  fever  which  infected  several  parts  of  the  Spanish  coast  at  this 
period,  we  were  prevented  from  landing;  and  had  merely  time  to  con- 
template the  surrounding  objects,  all  commemorated  either  in  classic 
lore,  or  the  historic  page  ;  the  inaccessible  rock,  its  narrow  and  stu- 
pendous fortifications,  camp  of  San  Roca,  bay  of  Algeziras,  cele- 
brated by  the  victory  of  Rodney  over  the  Spanish  admiral  Langara  : 
the  very  spot  on  which  we  lay  is  that,  where,  through  the  gallantry  of 
General  Elliott,  the  floating  batteries  were  destroyed.  Ceuta,  and  the 
southern  pillar  of  Hercules,  on  the  opposite  shore  of  Barbary,  pre- 
sented a  wide  field  for  admiration  and  reflection.  The  commercial 
activity,  and  imniense  diversity  of  ships  bearing  the  flag  of  diflerent 
nations  collected  in  the  bay,  also  afforded  a  very  interesting  spectacle. 

A  seaman  is  truly  what  the  French  style  Vhomme  par  excellence. 
The  world  is  his  country,  and  human  nature  his  family.  Welcomed  by 
all  as  the  harbinger  of  abimdance,  convenience,  and  luxury,  he  is  des- 
tined to  combat  every  element,  and  surmount  all  difiicidties.  With  a 
natural  greatness  of  soul,  and  elevation  of  spirit,  his  views  are  gene- 
rally extensive,  and  character  upright.     Proud  as  the  element  he  in- 

*  For  a  curious  and  highly  interesting  account  of  Morocco,  see  Keatinge's  Travels: 
where,  amongst  more  important  matter,  a  very  good  description  of  the  part  seen  by  the 
author  is  given.  In  speaking  of  the  road  between  Sallee  and  Tangier,  the  Colonel  observes  : 
"  For  several  miles  this  route  continues  along  the  river's  side,  (the  Cebu,)  which  is  deep, 
of  slow  descent,  and  meandering  picturesquely  in  the  boldest  and  most  comprehensive 
sweeps  that  can  be  seen  or  imagined,  through  rich  flats,  and  meadows  of  a  depth  of  verdure 
in  the  tint,  of  which  nothing  to  be  seen  elsewhere  could  give  an  idea,  until  its  reaches  ulti- 
mately flatten  to  the  eye,  to  be  lost  in  the  indistinctness  of  the  horizon."" — Vol.  II.  p.  40. 



liabits,  and  free  as  that  breeze  which  wafts  him  along  ;  his  principles 
of  action  are  alike  litted  to  every  situation.  Born  to  live  with  his 
felloAvs,  the  sea-faring  man  is  the  real  friend  of  society,  of  humanit}, 
and  civilization.  The  diffuser  of  knowledge,  and  common  benefactor 
of  mankind,  he  only  is  entitled  to  the  epithet  of  cosmopolite.  The 
most  splendid  ornament  and  steady  support  of  a  free  people,  he  is  the 
truest  source  of  national  prosperity  :  so  that  the  solitary  verse  of  a 
French  poet  should  not  be  forgotten  : 

Le  trident  de  Neptune  est  le  sceptre  du  monde  ;* 

at  a  time  too  when  its  truth  has  been  so  fully  exemplified  by  a  nation 
of  our  own  days. 

Situated  as  we  were,  common  prudence  would  have  dictated  the 
necessity  of  remaining  a  few  days  at  Gibraltar,  and  joining  the  first 
convoy  that  sailed  up  the  3Iediterranean,  of  which  at  this  time  there 
was  one  nearly  every  week .  And  by  the  way  of  adding  to  our  comfort,  it 
was  strongly  reported  that  the  Algerine  squadron  was  at  sea,  com- 
mitting its  depredations  in  various  quarters.  The  poor  seamen,  who 
either  from  personal  experience,  or  public  notoriety,  knew  the  horrors 
which  must  inevitably  attend  falling  into  the  hands  of  the  barbarians, 
began  to  murmur,  and  at  length  broke  out  into  open  violence,  posi- 
tively declaring  they  would  no  longer  navigate  the  vessel,  if  the  mas- 
ter refused  to  accede  to  their  just  demand  of  waiting  for  the  protection 
of  the  first  convoy.  But  oiu*  ill-judged  conductor  would  have  proba- 
bly sufiered  himself  to  be  cut  to  pieces,  rather  than  incur  a  farthing 
expence  by  any  longer  delay  here.  Assuming  a  high  tone,  therefore, 
he  loudly  accused  liis  men  of  a  disposition  to  mutiny,  and  after  volumes 
of  abuse,  roundly  swore,  that  if  they  did  not  immediately  return  to  a 
senseof  duty  and  suboi-dhiation,  they  should,  on  their  arrival  at  Sicily, 
be  put  into  dungeons  "  where  day-light  never  entered,"  and  out   of 

*  The  above  is  from  the  pen  of  Le  Mierre,  who  was  so  vain  of  it,  that  he  considered 
il  superior  to  any  single  line  of  Racine  or  J.  B.  Rousseau.  This  presumption  gave  rise  to 
tiie  following  opinion  : — Oui,  cesi  un  Lean  vers,  mais  cc^t  un  vers  solitaire  ! 


which  it  was  for  them  to  escape  as  well  as  they  could  !  Continiung 
to  dwell  upon  this  strain  with  peculiar  emphasis,  he  proceeded  to  read 
a  lesson  upon  arbitrary  power,  stating,  amongst  other  tine  maxims, 
that  a  captain  was  king  on  board  his  own  ship,  and  his  will  the  law  !-^ 
1  now  thought  it  was  high  time  to  make  some  reply  to  this  self-created 
and  bombastic  sovereign,  particularly  as  I  felt  but  too  much  interest 
in  the  reasoning  of  his  men,  and  recollecting  what  Seneca  had  on  u 
former  occasion  said  to  Nero,  told  him,  in  somewhat  of  a  peremptory 
tone  to  remember,  Mspoiver  was  at  an  end  where  justice  terminated; 
that  having  violated  his  written  agreement  to  sail  with  convoy,  it 
would  be  seen,  if  ever  we  reached  Sicily,  who  was  most  entitled  to  a 
place  in  the  dungeons  to  which  he  so  confidently  alluded.  Had  this 
harangue  been  properly  supported  by  my  fellow  passengers,  the  hero 
would  most  likely  have  lowered  his  pretensions  ;  but  though  very  ami- 
able personages,  they  were  unfortunately  deficient  on  this  occasion,  and 
apprehensive  lest  the  dispute  should  take  a  more  serious  turn,  were, 
during  its  continuance,  occupied  in  restraining  me  by  repeating  the 
old  worn-out  arguments  of  "  where 's  the  necessity  for  entering  into  the 
crowd  to  be  trampled  upon?"  "  Command  who  can,  obey  who  ought  !" 
"  The  ass  must  follow  his  master;"  "  One  fool  is  enough  to  command 
in  the  same  house  !"  and  similar  consolatory  phrases,  all  calculated  to 
precipitate  the  fate  which  awaited  us.  Nor  was  it  the  first  time  I  had 
reason  to  believe,  that  in  all  the  great  concerns  of  life,  judgment  and 
talent  are  less  trequently  wanted,  than  disposition  and  character.  It  is, 
peihaps,  equally  true,  that  more  mischief  arises  from  indecision  and 
want  of  confidence,  than  the  opposite  extremes  of  temerity  and  pre- 
sumption. In  the  present  instance,  my  incredulous  companions  seemed 
to  lose  their  usual  habits  of  reflection.  Viewing  the  captain's  proceedings 

-*  This  is  by  uo  means  a  new  doctriue,  lor  until  very  lately  it  was  not  only  preached 
but  practiced  in  the  ships  of  another  country  :  but  it  is  only  justice  to  add,  that  owing  to  a 
number  of  highly  useful  regulations  and  restrictions,  adopted  wUhiu  the  last  few  years,  it  is 
now  pretty  well  exploded.  As  to  the  improvements  alluded  to,  it  is  sincerely  to  be  hoped, 
they  are  only  preludes  to  others  of  still  greater  importance  and  utility. — Ed. 


20  PLF.ASURES    or    A    SEA-VOYACE. 

as  being  founded  on  his  boasted  experience,  they  determined  patiently 
to  await  the  result  of  his  arrangements  ;  and,  as  if  destiny  had  interfered, 
appeared  to  feel  as  mutli  indifference  as  if  we  were  merely  going  to  a 
bali  or  a  wedding.  Their  fancied  security,  in  so  uncertain  a  j)osition, 
reminded  me  of  a  story  which  is  told  of  a  poor  man  who,  during  an 
inundation  of  the  Arno  at  Pisa,  was  carried  away  by  the  torrent  while 
attempting  to  lay  hold  of  a  large  beam  he  saw  floating  down.  In  this 
extremity-,  when  there  seemed  to  be  no  chance  of  his  gaining  land, 
and  a  large  concourse  of  people  had  already  collected  on  the  banks, 
exclaiming,  "  poor  man  !  there  is  no  chance  of  safety  ;  you  will  surely 
become  food  for  the  fishes."  "  Oh  dear  !"  says  another  ;  "  what  will  be- 
come of  his  unfortunate  wife  and  children  V  When  the  lamentations 
had  subsided  a  little,  the  object  of  them,  still  clinging  to  the  beam, 
looked  up,  and  very  deliberately  said,  "  for  my  part,  ladies  and  gen- 
tlemen, I  hope  for  the  best  !" 

Madame  du  Deffand  once  observed  that  she  only  knew  three  sorts 
of  people,  des  trompeurs,  des  trompés,  et  des  trompettes.  No  soonei- 
had  that  of  our  redoubtable  Astalfo  been  sounded  by  my  friends,  than 
his  crest  became  immediately  elevated,  and  without  farther  ceremony 
he  weighed  anchor  and  stood  out  of  Gibraltar,  with  the  illusory  pro- 
mise, however,  of  touching  at  Minorca,  for  the  purpose  of  accompany- 
ing the  first  English  ship  of  war,  that  left  that  island  for  Sicily.  In 
the  course  of  our  navigation  along  the  Spanish  coast,  I  frequently 
took  occasion  to  remind  him  of  his  promise,  and  even  strongly  sug- 
gested the  prudence  of  such  a  measure  ;  forgetting  with  Machiavel, 
that  fools  never  take  advice,  or  the  still  more  apposite  injunction  of 
another  writer,  not  to  give  your  counsel  to  those  who  appear  most  in 
want  of  it.-  So  far,  therefore,  from  his  shewing  any  disposition  to 
gratify  us  in  this  particular,  he  evidently  adopted  a  course  which 
mu^t  inevitably  take  us  many  leagues  nearer  the  coast  of  Barbary. 

One  of  the  few  pleasures  attendant  on  a  sea  voyage,  is  that  of 
f.ocasionally  enjoying  the  comfort  of  a  good  dinner,  and  more  enli- 
^  ening  glass  of  wine  ;    but  with  our  bounteojis  caterer  even   that 


consolation  was  denied.  A  preacher,  wlio  had  not  received  one  invi- 
tation to  dine  out,  during  a  Avhole  Lent,  declared,  in  his  last  seiinon, 
that  he  had  preached  against  every  sin  except  gluttony  ;  and  that 
was  a  vice  which  he  was  glad  to  see  did  not  seem  to  predominate  in 
the  neighbourhood  ! 

For  the  information  of  those  who  may  at  any  future  period, 
undertake  a  voyage  by  water,  it  may  not  be  altogether  useless  to  give 
a  short  specimen  of  our  fare  on  board  the  Hero.  It  consisted  of  a 
little  musty  rice  plentifully  mingled  with  stones,  and  evidently  the 
sweepings  of  some  store-room  ;  salt  meat,  not  unlike  half  tanned  lea- 
ther, and  which,  from  the  difficulty  of  extricating  it  out  of  the  teeth, 
created  a  constant  tooth-ache.  As  to  wine,  it  was  fairly  out  of  the 
question  ;  nor  did  the  provident  steward  even  lay  in  a  small  stock  of 
beer,  so  cheap  an  article  in  the  country  we  had  left.  Our  usual 
beverage,  therefore,  was  made  up  of  putrid  water,  which  it  was 
attempted  to  render  palatable  by  a  dash  of  vinegar.  If  the  occasional 
intermission  of  sea-sickness  created  a  little  appetite,  this  chalice  of 
bitterness  soon  destroyed  it  ;  and  by  a  refinement  in  his  mode  of  tor- 
menting the  poor  passenger,  whenever  the  hour  of  refreshment  arrived, 
I  perceived  that  the  vessel  was  then  placed  in  the  most  uneasy  posi- 
tion the  master  could  contrive  ;  for  to  him  nothing  was  so  mortitying 
as  seeing  any  of  his  unfortunate  victims  enjoy  their  dinner. 

We  had  but  too  fiequently  reason,  in  this  hungry  state,  of  calling 
to  mind  the  ill-fated  story  of  Ugolino  ;  nor  was  our  ship  inaptly  com- 
pared to  the  tower  in  which  he  perished.^    Judging  fiom  the  meagre 

*  This  allusion  will  doubtless  remind  the  Italian  reader  of  that  wonderfully  sublime 
passage  of  the  Inferno,  in  which  the  famished  Count  relates  the  harrowing  narrative  of  his 
confinement  in  the  Torre  della  Fame. 

Quel  dì,  e  l'altro  stemmo  tutti  muti  : 

Ahi  dura  terra,  perchè  non  l'apristi  ? 

Posciachè  fummo  al  quarto  dì  venuti, 

Gaddo  mi  si  gitto  distesò  a'  piedi, 

Dicendo:    Padre  mio,  che  non  m'ajuti!     V.  Cant,  xxxiii. 

The  following 


and  wretched  appearance  of  myself  and  compauions,  it  was,  I  think, 
well  said  by  the  Piince  of  Orange,  "  that  in  a  three  days  regimen  he 
wonld  make  a  poltroon  of  the  bravest  man  in  his  army." 

As  to  these  little  digressions,  not  immediately  connected  with 
the  main  object  of  publishing,  it  is  hoped  they  will  be  excused,  on 
the  score  of  their  melancholy  importance  to  the  writer.  Enough 
will  follow  to  excite  feelings  of  a  very  different  nature  ;  but  as  a 
French  traveller  says,  dans  un  hatimeut  quoi  /aire  «  moins  qu'on  ne 
conte?  and  I  am  not  the  tirst  scribbler,  who,  for  the  purpose  of  giv- 
ing more  unity  to  his  narrative,  has  led  his  reader  gradually  on  to  the 
catastrophe.  When,  at  Scarron's  petits  soupers,  the  second  course 
was  not  ready,  the  cook  used  to  whisper  in  the  ear  of  Madame  S. 
afterwards  the  celebrated  Maintenon,  so  famous  for  anecdotes  and 
bons  mots,  "  have  the  goodness  to  amuse  the  company  with  a  story, 
as  the  roast  meat  is  not  quite  done." 

For  several  days  after  leaving  the  coast  of  Catalonia,  we  had  an 
ample  opportunity  of  witnessing  the  sad  etlects  of  war,  and  those 
anti-social  decrees  of  the  belligerents,  which  seemed  to  extinguish  all 
the  commercial  intercourse  of  nations.  In  a  run  of  four  or  five  hun- 
dred miles,  we  only  encountered  two  vessels.  One  having  a  suspicious 
appearance,  our  captain  prudently  kept  aloof;  for  he  too,  was  amongst 
the  number  of  those,  who  thought  with  Falstaff,  that  prudence  is  the 
better  part  of  valour  ;  with  the  other  we  came  into  more  immediate 
contact  :  she  proved  to  be  an  unarmed  Neapolitan,  and  no  sooner 
was  this  circumstance  ascertained,  than  our  bombastic  skipper  deter- 

following  attempt  at  translation,  will  give  some  idea  of  its  divine  original: 

Unwilling  thus  to  aggravate  their  woes. 

Gloomy  and  calm,  attendant  on  the  close 

Of  all  our  pangs,  I  sate,  revolving  slow  ; 

Two  days  succeed— the  fourth  pale  morning  hroke, 

''  O  Father,  help  !     I  feel  the  deadly  stroke!" 

Mv  Gaddo  cry'd,  and  sunk  beneath  the  blow! — Boyd. 


SIGNS    OF    PIRATES.  2-j 

lained  to  assert  his  superiority  by  displaying  the  Sicilian  flag,  and 
firing  a  shot  at  the  stranger,  to  bring  her  to.  Although  this  effort  of 
bravery  had  the  desired  eflect,  the  Neapolitan,  m  ho  was  no  admirer  of 
practical  jokes,  on  coming  within  hail,  remoiistiated  in  not  very  classical 
terms  against  the  unprovoked  aggression  of  our  doughty  chieftain. 
There  being  a  strong  natural  jealousy  existing  between  the  people  of 
Sicily  and  Naples,  the  present  rencontre  was  followed  by  volumes  of 
ribaldry  and  abuse  on  each  side,  which,  when  both  parties  were  com- 
pletely exhausted,  and  not  till  then,  terminated  to  the  great  joy  of  the 
lookers  on. 

On  making  the  island  of  Sardinia,  a  much  more  unpleasant  spec- 
tacle presented  itself:  this  was  the  appearance  of  several  strange  sails, 
close  under  the  land,  whose  continued  manoeuvring  created  an  imme- 
diate suspicion  on  the  part  of  the  crew,  that  they  were  corsairs.  This 
the  captain  pertinaciously  denied,  asserting  them  to  be  no  other  than 
an  English  convoy,  and  even  proposed  to  bear  up  and  join  them,  which 
gave  rise  to  a  suraultanous  burst  of  disapprobation  from  all  on  board, 
followed  by  a  long  altercation;  in  which  we  resolutely  declared,  that 
having  escaped  thus  far,  we  had  no  idea  of  voluntarily  going  into  the 
lion's  mouth,  and  therefore  insisted  on  the  vessel's  being  instantly 
steered  towards  the  island  of  San  Pietro,  where  there  was  an  excellent 
harbour  to  receive  us.  To  this  universal  cry  of  putting  into  port,  the 
Hero  reluctantly  yielded. 

Ma  cadendo  quell'  anima  superba, 

Fé'  una  bocca  di  biascia  sorba  acerba; 

Ed  era  sconcertato  a  si  gran  segno 

Che  pareva  un  Ebreo  che  ha  perso  il  pegno. 

We  soon  after  ìiad  tìie  pleasure  of  anchoring,  and  congratulated 
each  other  with  the  ardour  of  those,  who  feel  they  have  just  escaped 
an  imminent  danger. 

In  consequence  of  the  plague  still  raging  at  Malta,  and  the  mea- 
sures of  precaution  it  imposed  on  the  neighlx>uring  coasts,  we  were 


not  permitted  to  land  at  the  town  ;  but  a  space  was  allotted,  where  we 
had  an  opportunity  of  stretching  our  limbs  :  and  this,  to  persons  in 
our  situation,  worn  out  with  a  tedious  voyage,  sea-sickness,  and  bad 
living-,  was  no  trifling  luxury.  It  is  for  those  whose  destiny  has  for 
many  years  separated  them  from  their  native  soil,  to  judge  what  my 
feelings  were  on  touching  the  first  shore  of  Italy  !  Not  with  more 
anxious  solicitude  could  the  lover  rush  into  the  arms  of  his  mistress, 
or  diesar  gain  the  opposite  bank  of  the  Rubicon,  than  myself  and 
fellow  suiierers  sprang  on  the  beach  at  our  first  landing.  Tears  of  joy 
moistened  the  cheeks  of  several,  at  the  rapturous  thotight  of  once  more 
inhaling  the  salubrious  and  vivifying  air  of  our  native  climate.  None 
but  persons  who  had  been  placed  in  a  similar  situation,  can  possibly 
conceive  the  pleasurewe  experienced,  on  pressing  the  earth,  and  bound- 
ing along  the  shore,  after  having  so  largely  tasted  all  the  bitter  ingredients 
of  a  sea  voyage,  and  its  innumerable  unpleasan tries  to  a  landsman. 
Nor  is  the  moment  of  landing,  when  sea-sickness  seems  banished  as  it 
u  ere,  by  enchantment,  the  least  agreeable  of  a  traveller's  emancipa- 
tion. The  refreshments,  consisting  of  poultry,  vegetables,  and  exqui- 
site grapes,  soon  had  the  effect  of  restoring  us  to  that  love  of  life  which 
the  captain  had  well  nigh  succeeded  in  extinguistnng;  and  San  Pietro 
was,  to  us,  a  real  land  of  promise. 

During  our  promenade  along  a  fine  sandy  beach,  we  were  fre- 
quently visited  by  the  natives  of  distinction,  who  paid  us  every 
attention  in  their  power  ;  and  even  the  fairer  sex  did  not  fail  to  come 
and  sympathize  with  the  weaiy  travellers.  There  seems  to  be  a  natu- 
lal  tendency  in  the  human  mind,  to  become  acquainted  with  the  man, 
qui  mores  hominum  multorum  videi  et  urbes  ;  and  we  find  a  secret 
pleasure  in  listening  to  the  marvellous  stories  of  the  pilgrim.  For  our 
parts,  we  all  blessed  the  haven  of  safety,  comfort,  and  relaxation  : 

E  intanto  oblia 

,  noia  e  il  mal  della  passata  via. 


San  Pietro,  thougli  small  and  not  very  productive,  carries  on  a 
considerable  trade  with  the  Balearic  islands,  and  Cag^liari.  There  is 
very  little  grain  cultivated  there  :  so  that  it  consists  principally  of 
vineyaids,  which  produce  tolerably  good  wine;  and  the  higher 
groiuids  are  well  stocked  with  game.  Its  tunny  fishery  is  one  of  the 
most  celebrated  in  all  the  Mediterranean.  The  inhabitants  possess  a 
high  character,  for  honest  simplicity,  industry,  and  civility  towards 
strangers.  Being  in  great  harmony  with  each  other,  they  would 
enjoy  all  the  blessings  of  such  attributes,  were  it  not  for  the  continued 
incursions  of  the  Barbary  corsairs.  The  Tunisians  landed  here  about 
forty  years  ago,  and  desolated  the  island  fioni  one  end  to  the  other, 
taking  off  nearly  all  the  defenceless  inhabitants.  A  similar  visit  was 
paid,  not  more  than  seven  years  ago,  by  the  assassins  of  Algiers,  who 
have  alsovery  lately  committed  another  most  daring  outrage  on  the  same 
unfortunate  people.  In  a  state  of  incessant  alarm,  with  their  past 
sufferings  constantly  before  them,  they  were  described  to  us  in  all  the 
unadorned  and  simple  colouring  of  nature  :  nor  did  this  take  away 
from  the  horrors  which  had  befallen  many  of  them.  These  stories 
generally  ended  by  kindly  warning  us  of  the  dangers  which  might 
attend  leaving  the  port  without  convoy. 

We  were  farther  informed  that  the  squadrons  of  Algiers  and  Tripoli 
were  cruizing  in  the  vicinity  ;  the  boats  of  the  former  had  even  landed 
.some  evenings  before,  taking  off  a  large  quantity  of  cattle  and  a  boy. 
They  also  related  the  melancholy  story  of  the  Chevalier  Seratti,*  who 
had  lately  fallen  into  the  hands  of  the  Tunisians,  and  since  became  a 
victim  of  their  ferocity. 

Under  such  menacing  appearances,   we  were  entreated  upon  no 

*  The  Chevalier  was  formerly  prime  minister  in  Tuscany,  and  a  .Sicilian  counsellor  oi' 
state,  possessing  a  high  character  for  intelligence,  zeal  and  probity.  One  of  his  first  mea- 
sures, when  appointed  some  years  ago  governor  of  Leghorn,  was  to  intercede  with  the 
Grand  Duke,  and  obtaining  the  liberation  of  all  the  Tunisian  slaves  brought  into  that  port. 
Who  could  have  then  foreseen,  that  in  his  latter  years,  he  would  himself  be  conducted  a 
slave  to  Tunis,  and  finally  perish  there  ! 



account  to  venture  out  till  things  looked  better  ;  and  did  not  fail  to 
impress  the  necessity  of  following  this  friendly  advice  on  the  mind  of 
our  obstinate  captain  :  who,  without  absolutely  denying  its  justice,  or 
communicating  his  real  intentions,  suffered  us  to  retire  to  rest,  in  the 
flattering  belief  that  we  should  not  only  have  an  opportunity  of  revi- 
siting our  new  friends  next  day,  but  of  remaining  in  port  till  a  better 
time  of  sailinii  arrived. 



Imprudent  Departure  from  Sax  Pietro. — Presentiments. — Appearance  of  the 
Algerine  Squadron. — Capture  by  the  Pirates.  —  Captive  taken  before  the 
Admiral.— First  Night  on  board  the  Corsair. ^Second  Day. — Storm. — 
Naval  Engagement. —  Union  of  the  Captives, —  Treatment  on  board  the  Cor- 
sairs of  Barbary. — Situation  improved. — Hope. —  The  Rais  Hamida. — Coast 
o/ Italy. — Council  of  V\''^ar.—  War  between  Tunis  «/?// Algiers. — HiMo- 
rical  Notice  of  Tunis.— The  Revolution.— ^The  Squadron  appears  before 
Tunis,  and  retires. — Coasting,  and  Arrival  at  Bona. 

Nature  was  stlll  enveloped  in  her  stany  mantle  ;  and  the  goddess 
of  night  in  her  ebon  car,  silently  wandered  through  the  heavens,  when 
confused  noises,  as  if  created  by  a  general  movement  on  board  the 
vessel,  suddenly  awoke  the  sleeping  passengers,  who,  upon  ascending 
the  deck,  beheld,  with  a  mingled  feeling  of  sorrow  and  indignation, 
that  the  anchor  was  up,  and  sails  spread  for  the  purpose  of  once  more 
incurring  the  many  dangers,  which  had  been  so  emphatically  described 
by  the  faithful  islanders,  whose  friendly  admonitions  were  completely 
thrown  away  on  our  besotted  and  ignorant  conductor.  While  steering 
out  of  the  bay,  the  boat  returned  on  board,  when  the  person  who  had 
been  despatched  in  her,  to  execute  some  little  commission  for  the  cap- 
ttiin,  told  us,  with  fear  and  trembling,  notwithstanding  his  being 
cautioned  to  the  contrary,  that  the  report  of  cannon  was  heard; 
supposed  to  be  signals  of  alarm,  from  San  Pietro  and  the  Peninsula 
of  Antioch,  a  place  to  the  northward. 

In  this  fearful  extremity,  we  naturally  supplicated  the  master  to 
return  into  port,    pointing    out  the  imminent  peril   which  attended 

E  3 


going  to  sea  under  such  circumstances.  But  he  was  deaf  to  every 
enti'eaty,  and  even  assumed  a  most  insolent  tone,  when  reminded  of 
his  solemn  engagement  to  sail  with  convoy  ;  tinally  observing,  that 
he  had  originally  sailed  for  Sicily,  and  to  Sicily  he  would  go  ! 

Would  to  Heaven  that  our  just  indignation  had  prompted  us  to 
adopt  a  more  determined  course  with  regard  to  this  wretch,  on  so 
emergent  an  occasion  ;  or  that  some  resolute  mind,  like  Rousseau's 
Emilius  in  a  like  dilemma,  had  avenged  his  companions  in  misfor- 
tune, by  liberating  the  earth  from  such  a  traitor,  and  the  sea  of  such 
a  monster. 

After  having  nearly  terminated  the  voyage,  and  arrived  within  a 
few  days  sail  of  the  much  desired  port,  to  have  thus  been  mercilessly 
exposed  to  so  great  a  calamity  was  most  distressing  ;  surely  our  past 
sufferings  merited  a  better  fate  !  The  poor  seamen  were  fiill  of  anxious 
Inope,  at  the  idea  of  revisiting  their  wives  and  families  :  nearly  all  of 
them  had  brought  little  ventures,  the  result  of  their  hard-eanied  wages, 
and  chief  source  of  consolation  on  returning  homewards  ;  while  the 
day  of  their  arrival  was  fondly  anticipated  to  be  one  of  rejoicing  and 
hilarity.  It  was  impossible  to  have  found  better  disposed  characters 
than  these  unfortunate  victims  of  rashness  and  imbecility. 

The  passengers  too,  of  whom  I  have  hitherto  been  silent,  were 
all  persons  of  the  highest  merit.  The  Chevalier  Rossi,  possessing  a 
most  honourable  mind,  and  liberal  sentiments,  was  returning  from 
England  with  all  the  information  which  that  enlightened  country 
aifords  to  foreign  visitors,  accompanied  by  his  wife,  an  amiable  and 
accomplished  woman,  together  with  two  lovely  children,  the  offspring 
of  their  union.  An  industrious  and  honest  merchant,  Mr.  Terreni 
of  Leghorn,  was  taking  out  merchandize  of  great  value,  the  result  of 
his  judicious  speculations  in  Great  Britain  ;  Antonio  Terreni,  his  bro- 
ther, an  artist  of  great  merit  ;  who  was  going  to  Sicily  for  the  purpose 
of  making  a  picturesque  tour  through  the  island,  as  he  had  already 
done,  with  so  much  eclat  in  Tuscany  ;  a  Calabrese,  who  had  served 
for  many  years  in  the  British  navy,  and  was  returning  home  to  enjoy 

l'avara  per  amore.  "29 

the  fruits  of  his  exertions  while  absent;  also,  a  beautiful  woman  going 
to  join  her  husband,  who  was  on  his  return  from  the  East  Indies.  Alter 
a  variety  of  strange  vicissitudes,  destiny  was  about  to  unite  them,  and 
realize  the  story  of  Ulysses  and  Penelope,  who,  sustained  by  the  force 
of  love,  were,  on  their  meeting,  still  more  enchanted  by  a  recapitu- 
lation of  their  mutual  adventures. 

The  last  personage  in  this  catalogue,  though  not  the  least  inte- 
resting, was  a  charming  girl,  whose  singular  story  requires  particular 
attention.  Enamoured  with  a  young  Sicilian,  her  affections  were  re- 
turned l)y  a  corresponding  attachment  on  his  part.  As,  however,  fate 
will  generally  have  it,  her  fortune  was  unequal  to  the  extravagant 
pretensions  of  the  young  man's  father.  Her  treasin'es  were  those  of 
the  mind  and  person  ;  and  in  both  these  she  was  by  no  means  defi- 
cient. But  it  has  often  been  proved,  that  nothing  is  more  ditficult 
than  severing  the  ties  formed  by  real  love.  In  the  present  case  it 
had  the  effect  of  giving  our  heroine  strength  and  resolution  to  visit 
England,  in  search  of  two  old  and  rich  relatives,  from  whom  she 
hoped  to  obtain  the  object  of  her  wishes.  On  presenting  herself 
before  them,  her  personal  charms,  aided  by  the  irresistible  eloquence 
of  love,  produced  the  desired  effect  ;  and  receiving  a  liberal  dowry, 
she  hastened  back,  with  the  delightful  hope  of  throwing  it  together 
with  her  own  fond  heart  at  the  feet  of  her  lover. 

The  dullness  and  monotony  of  our  voyage  was  frequently  enli- 
vened by  the  repetition  of  her  stoiy,  which  she  felt  a  virtuous  pleasure 
in  relating  ;  and  by  way  of  playful  irony  she  obtained  the  name  of 
L'avara  per  amore  ;  the  miser  for  love.  In  our  present  advanced 
state,  the  poor  girl  anxiously  counted  every  hour,  and  even  minute, 
which  separated  her  from  the  man  of  her  choice  ;  and  would  often 
fancy  she  beheld  him  on  the  shore,  with  extendetl  arms,  to  receive  all 
that  was  dear  to  him  in  this  world!  He  did  so,  no  doubt,  with  the 
trembling  anxiety  of  Paul,  when  awaiting  the  long  expected  return 
of  his  beloved  Virginia  ;  but,  alas  !  he  was  never  to  behold  her  more  : 
and,  unlike  her  prototype,  who  perished  in  the  waves,  she  was  des- 

30  A    STORM. 

tined  to  fall  a  sacrifice  to  barbarians  ;  and  like  the  beantifnl  Angelica 
of  Ariosto,  it  might  well  be  exclaimed  : 

Oh  troppo  eccelsa  preda 
Per  si  barbare  genti  e  si  villane  ! 

We  continued  our  course,  thoughtful  and  pensive:  with  eveiy  eye 
mournfully  directed  towards  the  ^\  ater,  a  dead  silence  pervatled  the 
passengers  and  crew.  It  is  the  nature  of  deep  sorrow  to  be  mute  ; 
and  this  was  merely  a  sad  presentiment  of  what  was  shortly  after  to 
follow.  Had  the  tattered  state  of  the  vessel,  and  her  heavy  sailing- 
been  considered,  the  imprudence  of  thus  going  into  the  very  face  of 
such  enemies  was  self-evident. 

While  in  this  state  of  painful  suspense,  a  sudden  scpiall  from  off 
the  land,  carried  away  our  main-top-mast,  which,  in  its  fall,  nearly 
overwhelmed  the  captain.  Once,  while  M.  de  Calonne  was  reclining 
on  his  luxurious  feathers,  the  top  of  his  bed  fell  in,  and  would  have, 
most  probably,  suffocated  the  ex-minister,  had  not  prompt  assistane*' 
been  given.  A  gentleman  who  «iw  him  in  this  state,  immediately  ex- 
claimed, "just  heaven  !"*  Without  exactly  wishing  to  see  our  comman- 
der expiate  his  obstinacy  and  folly,  by  falling  under  the  mast,  I  could 
not,  at  the  time,  help  considering  its  vicinity  to  his  skull,  as  a  spe- 
cies of  providential  warning  for  him  to  return  into  port,  or  make 
for  Cagliari,  which  was  not  very  distant.  But  it  had  no  such  effect  : 
the  atmosphere  became  every  moment  more  obscure,  a  roaring  noise 
of  the  waves  was  heard  in  the  distance,  and  deep  peals  of  thunder 
began  to  issue  from  the  clouds  which  were  collecting  all  round  :  these, 
together  with  a  strong  wind  and  high  sea,  ushered  in  the  first  night 
after  our  quitting  San  Pietro. 

O  Navis  !  referent  in  mare  te  novi 
Fluctus  ?     O  :  quid  agis  ?     Fortiter  occupa 
Portum.     Nonne  vides,  ut 
Nudum  remigio  latus. 

*  This  anecdote  loses  all  its  point  by  translation,  and  requires  to  be  explained.  The 
tester  of  a  bed  is  called  del  (heaven)  in  French,  and  tielo  in  Itahan  :  so  that  the  pun 
alluded  to,  turned  upon  the  minister's  friend  exclaiming /rfs^e  del!— Ed. 


Et  malus  celeri  saucius  Africo 
Antenneeque  gemunt  ;  ac  sine  funibus 

Vix  durare  carinte 

Possint  imperiosius 

^quor  ?*  Car.  xiv. 

It  was  in  vain  to  expect  any  repose,  in  this  state  of  fearful  appre- 
hension; and  no  sooner  had  the  weariness,  occasioned  by  several 
liours  rocking  about  in  my  wretched  cell,  produced  a  disposition  to 
sleep,  than  the  Chevalier  Rossi  came  with  a  tremulous  voice,  to  inform 
me,  that  the  very  same  vessels,  seen  previous  to  our  entering  San 
Pietro,  were  just  discovered!  Hurrying  out  of  bed,  I  sprang  on  deck 
where  all  was  anguish  and  confusion.  Having  hastily  interrogated  the 
pilot  and  seamen,  their  answers  consisted  of  broken  sentences  and 
significant  inclinations  of  the  head.  The  strange  sails,  six  in  number, 
were  almost  at  this  time  imperceptible  specks  in  the  horizon;  but 
from  the  ideas  naturally  associated  with  their  sudden  appearance,  the 
panic  was  dreadful,  what  with  reality,  and  the  force  of  imagination. 
Stimulated  by  our  fears,  their  size  gradually  increased,  and  from  the 
disastrous  result,  might  justly  be  compared  to  those  phenomena  of  the 
ocean,  so  much  dreaded  by  mariners,  which,  from  the  most  inconsider- 
able spot  in  the  atmosphere  advance  by  slow  degrees,  until  bursting 
on  their  heads,  they  are  instantly  buried  in  the  waves. 

Scarcely  had  the  first  emotions  of  alarm  been  developed,  when 
a  particular  manoeuvre  of  the  strangers,  clearly  manifested  their  hos- 
tile intentions  :    this,   on  being  perceived,  was  followed  by  a  burst  of 

*  Unhappy  vessel  !     Shall  the  waves  again 
Tumultuous  bear  thee  to  the  faithless  main  ? 
What  w^ould  thy  madness,  thus  with  storms  to  sport? 
Cast  from  your  anchor  in  the  friendly  port. 
Behold  thy  naked  decks  ;  the  wounded  mast 
And  sail-yards  groan  beneath  the  southern  blast, 
Nor  without  ropes  thy  keel  can  longer  brave, 
The  rushing  fury  of  th'  imperious  wave.         Frantiti. 

32  HOPRS    OF    ESCAPE. 

liorroi-,  fiom  all  on  board  ;  and  in  the  general  alarm,  the  seaman's 
efforts  to  make  sail,  and  conduct  us  into  safety,  seemed  only  to  increase 
the  confusion,  being  calculated  rather  to  precipitate  the  fatal  event 
than  otherwise.  Agitation  is  not  activity,  and  naval  or  military  opera- 
tions, without  a  design,  are  more  likely  to  disconcert,  than  forward 
objects.  By  a  dreadful  fatality,  the  wind,  which  had  until  now  blown 
w  ith  great  violence,  suddenly  ceased  ;  so  that  we  found  ourselves,  in 
a  moment,  totally  incapable  of  changing  the  vessel's  position.  As  to 
the  captain,  he  was  dumb  with  amazement;  and,  notwithstanding  his 
former  boasting,  remained  completely  inactive,  having  lost  all  power 
of  exertion  :  and  in  those  situations  to  be  idle,  or  uncollected,  is  to 
give  up  every  hope  of  escape.  A  light  breeze  having  sprung  up, 
we  suggested  the  idea  of  making  sail  towards  the  land,  and  after  all, 
we  had  the  alternative  of  taking  to  the  long  boat  :  the  proposition  was 
hardly  made,  when  the  master  pointed  towards  one  of  the  enemy's 
vessels  to  leeward,  which  cut  off  our  retieat  in  that  direction.  Igno- 
rant of  the  degree  of  credit  to  which  his  reasoning  Avas  entitled,  he 
made  no  efforts,  either  for  defence  or  escape. 

The  enemy,  w  hen  first  seen,  were  at  least  fifteen  miles  ofi";  while 
the  coast  of  Sardinia  was  not  more  than  a  third  of  that  distance. 
Even  the  barbarians  after  our  capture,  said  that  we  had  a  bad  Rais  ; 
as,  if  we  had  made  the  slightest  movement  towards  reaching  the 
shore,  they  would  not  have  attempted  to  follow  us  ;  but  seeing  our 
total  inactivity,  and  a  seeming  disposition  to  approach,  rather  than 
get  away,  they  thought  us  enchanted,  and  according  to  their  own 
emphatical  expression,  dragged  along  by  the  dark  spirit  of  our  ine- 
vitable ruin. 

All  was  terror  and  dismay  on  board  the  Sicilian.  I  know  not 
what  chilling  hand  oppresses  the  Christian  heart,  on  the  appearance 
of  Barbary  corsairs  :  like  the  head  of  Medusa,  it  seemed  to  petrify 
every  person  on  board.  It  was  now,  that  as  in  all  great  disasters, 
instead  of  mutual  support  and  encouragement,  a  sentiment  of  hatred 
is  instantly  generated  ;  the  fire  of  discord  bursts  forth  amongst  the 


companions  of  misfojtune,  and   intestine  war  is  kindled   on  j)uidic 

One  of  our  men,  who  liad  been  in  slavery  at  Sallee,  and  who  pre- 
.served  the  sad  remembrance,  inspired  by  a  feeling  of  desperation, 
rushed  up  to  the  captain,  and  would  have  certainly  plunged  a  stiletto 
in  his  heart,  had  not  myself  and  the  other  passengers  promptly 
interfered.  Another,  still  more  infuriated,  seized  a  fire-brand,  and 
was,  by  absolute  force,  prevented  from  applying  it  to  the  powder 
magazine  ;  some  were  for  destroying  themselves  on  board  ;  others 
proposed  jumping  into  the  sea,  and  thus  defeating  the  triumph  of  their 
enemies.  This  state  of  sutfering  and  despair  having  subsided,  it  was 
.shortly  succeeded  by  a  deep  and  mournful  silence  ;  after  Avhich,  the 
sailors  were  observed  to  descend,  one  by  one,  into  the  hold,  there  to 
await  the  event.  As  to  us  passengers,  we  remained  on  deck,  deeply 
meditating  on,  and  watching  our  approaching  ruin.  The  master, 
who  had  never  been  in  the  habit  of  standing  at  the  helm,  now  took 
possession  of  it  ;  and,  profiting  by  the  light  air  that  blew,  gradually 
turned  the  vessel's  head  towards  the  pirates,  .so  that  we  advanced  to 
them,  in.stead  of  waiting  their  arrival. 

Several  hours  passed  in  this  cruel  and  trembling  perplexity;  it 
was  like  sipping  the  poisoned  draught.  On  the  barbarians  getting 
near  us,  we  could  easily  distinguish  their  horrid  yells  ;  and  innumera- 
ble turbans  soon  appeared  along  their  decks.  It  was  now  that  the  last 
ray  of  hope  abandoned  the  least  terrified  amongst  us  ;  and,  as  if  elec- 
trified by  the  .same  shock,  we  fled  from  the  horrid  spectacle,  each 
hiding  himself  in  the  best  way  he  could  below,  there  patiently  to  wait 
the  grand  catastrophe  which  threatened  us. 

When  every  exertion,  whether  of  the  mind  or  body,  becomes  no 
longer  availing,  the  human  heart  falls  into  a  species  of  stupor  and 
frigid  tranquillity,  which  may  truly  be  called  the  last  stage  of  suffer- 
ing. It  was  thus,  that  a  Canadian  savage,  while  sitting  in  his  canoe** 
above  the  great  fall  of  Niagara,  had  the  rope  which  fastened  her  to 
the  shore,  cut  by  one  of  his  enemies,   and  was  fast  driving  towards 


34  TAKEX    BY   THE    ALGERINE». 

the  tremendous  cataract.  In  this  extremity,  he  made  every  exertion, 
that  force,  courage,  and  resohition  could  suggest,  to  avoid  the  threat- 
ened danger;  but,  perceiving  from  the  rapidity  of  tlie  stream,  that 
there  was  no  chance  of  escape,  he  tranquilly  laid  his  paddle  aside, 
and,  stretching  himself  along  the  bottom  of  the  canoe,  with  his  head 

covered — was  dashed  down  the  foaming  abyss  ! 

But  now  the  terrible  moment  has  at  length  arrived,  and  with  it, 
the  greatest  misfortune  which  can  possibly  befall  a  human  being.  Tlte 
shout  of  the  barbarians  are  heard  close  to  us.  They  appear  on  deck  in 
swarms,  with  haggard  looks,  and  naked  scimetars,  prepared  for  boarding; 
this  is  preceded  by  a  gun,  the  sound  of  which  was  like  the  harbinger  of 
death  to  the  trembling  captives,  all  of  whom  expected  tobe  instantly  sunk  ; 
it  was  the  signal  for  a  good  prize  :  a  second  gun  announced  the  capture, 
and  immediately  after  they  sprang  on  board,in  greatnumbers.  Theirfirst 
movements  were  confined  to  a  menacing  display  of  their  bright  sabres 
and  attaghans  ;  with  an  order  for  us,  to  make  no  resistance,  and  sur- 
render ;  which  it  was  hardly  necessary  to  repeat,  we  had  only  to  obey  ; 
and  this  ceremony  being  ended,  our  new  visitors  assumed  a  less  austere 
tone,  crying  ouiintheir  Lingua  Franca,  Nopauro  !  Nopauro  !  "Don't 
be  afraid."  After  this  rum  was  ca  lied  for,  then  the  keys  of  our  trunks  ;  when , 
dividing  our  party  into  two  divisions,  one  was  ordered  into  the  pirates' 
boat,  and  conveyed  to  the  admiral's  frigate,  while  the  other  remained 
behind  under  the  care  of  several  Moors,  who  had  taken  charge  of  the 
vessel.  I  was  amongst  the  number  of  those  transferred,  and  in  putting 
off  from  the  brig,  joined  my  companions  in  a  speechless  adieu  of  those 
we  left  behind. 

Cruel  fatality  !  The  boat  had  scarcely  put  off,  and  began  to  row 
towards  the  Algerine,  when  the  breeze,  which  we  had  for  so  many 
hours  vainly  prayed  for,  and  even  one  hour  before  might  have  seen 
us  in  safety,  suddenly  sprang  up,  accompanied  with  dark  clouds, 
which  was  soon  followed  by  torrents  of  rain.  The  Moors,  only  intent 
on  securing  their  victims,  cheerfully  howled  to  the  blast,  while  we 
remained  absorbed  in  gloomy  silence. 


Oil  gaining  the  iiigate  we  had  no  sooner  got  upon  deck,  than 
the  barbarians  uttered  a  general  ciy  of  victory,  usual  when  any  cap- 
tures are  made.  A  savage  joy'seemed  to  play  on  their  cadaverous 
aspects.  A  passage  being  opened  for  us  between  the  armed  Turks  and 
Moorish  sailors,  we  were  conducted  into  the  presence  of  the  grand 
Rais,  supreme  commander  of  the  Algerine  squadron.  He  was 
seated  between  the  captains  of  the  five  other  frigates,  Avho  had  assem- 
bled in  close  council  to  deliberate  on  the  measures  necessary  to  be 
taken  with  us,  to  combine  future  operations,  and  finally  to  exult  in 
their  horrible  celebrity.  We  were  interrogated  in  brief  and  haughty 
terms,  but  neither  insult  nor  rudeness  was  offered  to  any  of  the  party. 
The  grand  Rais  very  civilli/  asked  vis  for  our  money,  watches,  rings, 
and  every  other  article  of  value  we  had  about  our  persons  ;  in  order, 
as  he  obligingly  observed,  to  save  them  from  the  rapacity  of  the 
people  of  the  Black  Sea,  who  formed  a  considerable  part  of  his  crew  ; 
and  whom  he  candidly  said  were  all  ladri.  He  then  deposited 
our  respective  property  in  a  small  box,  faithfully  assuring  us  that  all 
should  be  returned  on  our  leaving  the  vessel.  During  the  distribu- 
tion in  the  box  he  repeated,  alternately  looking  at  the  captives, 
"  questo  per  ti,"  "  this  is  for  you  ;"  "  questo  altro  per  ti  :"  but  per- 
haps in  his  heart,  "  and  all  this  for  me!"  We  were  then  ordered  to 
retire  ;  and,  placed  upon  a  mat  in  the  Rais's  outer  cabin,  began  to 
reflect  on  our  new  .situation. 

When  supper  was  served,  it  consisted  of  a  black  looking  paste  in 
an  immense  pan,  which  being  placed  on  the  deck,  was  immediately 
surrounded  by  a  host  of  hungry  Moors  and  negroes,  indiscriminately 
mixed  together,  and  making  common  cause  for  the  laudable  purpose 
of  emptying  the  platter:  which  if  ever  so  well  inclined  to  partake  of, 
was  a  lorlorn  hope  to  us  afflicted  and  over  ceremonious  visitors;  who 
at  this  patriarchal  repast,  might  with  propriety  be  compared  to  the 
timid  spaniel,  who  vainly  attempts  to  come  in  for  a  part  of  the  bone, 
thrown  to  the  famished  mastiff.  Soon  after  sun-set,  we  were  ordered 
to  descend  by  a  species  of  trap  leading  into  the  hold,  which  had  infi- 



lately  more  the  appearance  of  a  sepulchre  than  a  place  destined 
for  living  beings.  There  it  was  necessary  to  extend  our  wearied 
limbs  over  blocks,  cables,  and  other  ship's  tackling,  which  made 
ours  a  bed  of  thorns  indeed!  In  this  suffocating  state,  the  bitterest 
reflections  presented  themselves  to  our  sleepless  imaginations. 

After  being,  as  it  were,  on  the  eve  of  touching  the  paternal  shore, 
what  was  now  to  become  of  us'?  Born  and  educated  in  a  civilized 
country  ;  long  accustomed  to  share  the  protection  of  British  liberty 
and  law,  we  were  now  captives  of  the  vilest  slaves,  and  perhaps 
doomed  to  drag  out  the  remainder  of  our  wretched  days  in  dreary 
captivity  amongst  inexorable  Moors!  The  poor  sailors,  too,  all  fathers 
of  families,  who  looked  to  them  alone  for  support  and  consolation, 
seemed  totally  incapable  of  bearing  up  against  the  misery  of  their 
situation.  It  is  true,  the  passengers  were  enabled,  in  this  trying 
dilemma,  to  rather  more  philosophy  and  strength  of  mind; 
but  who  could  calmly  reflect  on  a  situation  so  new  and  afllicting  i  It 
was  impossible  to  close  an  eye — 

Tir'd  nature's  sweet  restorer,  balmy  sleep  ! 
He,  like  the  world,  his  ready  visit  pays 
Where  fortune  smiles  ;  the  wretched  he  forsakes  ; 
Swift  on  his  downy  pinion  flies  from  woe. 
And  lights  on  beds  unsully'd  with  a  tear. 

What  dreadful  phantoms  hovered  o'er  our  heads  in  this  gloomy 
receptacle!  What  hours,  good  Heaven!  are  those  which  follow  the 
tirst  moments  of  slavery  ! — 

Que  la  iiuit  parait  longue  à  la  douleur  qui  velile  ! — 

Scarcely  had  the  day  dawned,  when,  creeping  out  of  our  living- 
sepulchre,  we  stalked  backwards  and  forwards  on  the  Algerine's  deck, 
ignorant  of  our  future  destiny,  but  endeavouring  to  form  some  con- 
jectures from  the  voice  and  manner  of  the  barbarians.  Nothing  posi- 
tive could,  however,  be  discovered  in  this  »vay  ;  and  we  still  remained 
in  the  worst  of  all  situations,  that  of  doubt  and  uncertainty. 

A    STORM.  37 

It  has  been  well  observed,  that  the  first  shock  of  misfortune  is 
not  that  which  we  feel  the  most  severely;  it  is  the  one  which  follows: 
as  wounds  are  less  painful  during  the  heat  of  battle,  while  the  blood 
flows,  and  the  mind  is  more  intensely  occupied  by  the  surrounding 
scene.  The  immediate  eflects  of  any  great  disaster,  are  those  of 
creating  stupor  and  insensibility  ;  and  it  is  not  until  "reflection  suc- 
ceeds, that  its  real  magnitude  is  seen.  We  are  ready,  in  the  first 
onset  of  danger,  to  oppose  our  utmost  strength  and  resolution  to  the 
storm  ;  but  when  there  is  no  longer  any  hope  of  successful  resistance, 
the  best  impulses  of  the  soul  seem  to  lose  their  influence. 

During  our  promenade  on  deck,  the  Moors  gathered  round  us  in 
great  numbers,  and  with  eager  curiosity  surveyed  our  appearance. 
As  to  ourselves,  we  had  then  only  cause  to  be  surprised  at  the  un- 
looked-for situation  in  which  destiny  had  placed  us.  A  doge  of  Venice, 
who,  together  with  four  of  his  senators,  was  obliged  to  go  to  Ver- 
sailles, and  beg  pardon  of  Louis  the  Fourteenth,  for  some  political 
offence,  being  asked  what  astonished  him  most  at  that  splendid  resi- 
dence, ingenuously  answered,  "  that  of  finding  myself  here!" 

Towards  noon  of  the  second  day,  a  storm  arose,  during  which 
we  experienced  a  dreadful  succession  of  thunder  and  lightning,  toge- 
ther with  all  the  usual  accompaniments  of  a  tempest  at  sea  :  this,  un- 
der other  circumstances,  would  have  had  mucli  greater  terrors  for  us  ; 
but  as  the  poet  of  nature  observes  : 

Where  the  greater  malady  is  fix"d, 
The  lesser  is  scarce  felt  ; 

and  we  even  derived  a  secret  pleasure  in  witnessing  the  paralizing 
effects  of  the  gale  on  our  ignorant  masters;  who,  totally  unacquainted 
with  tactics,  or  the  science  of  navigation,  were  running  wildly  about 
the  ship,  imploring  Alia  for  protection  ;  till  at  last,  unable  to  manage 
her  any  longer,  they  not  only  solicited  the  advice  of  our  seamen,  but, 
finally,  gave  up  the  entire  direction  to  them.  On  seeing  this,  I  cannot 
describe  an  irresistible  feeling  ot  joy,  whicii  seemed  to  take  possession  of 
my  mind,  arising  from  a  sudden  thought  which  occurred  to  me,  that  by 


a  well  combined,  and  spirited  effort  of  our  seamen  and  passengers, 
there  was  a  possibility  of  conducting  the  ship  sutiiciently  near  the 
Sardinian  coast,  to  see  one  of  its  ports;  and,  in  the  event  of  the  storm's 
continuing,  carry  her  directly  in,  and  thus  be  once  more  restored  to 
our  friends  and  libeiiy. 

Animated  by  this  illusory  prospect  of  emancipation,  and  prompted 
to  undertake  any  thing,  rather  than  patiently  endure  the  apprehen- 
sions of  future  sufferings  ;  I  went  on  deck  several  times,  and  endea- 
voured, by  every  argument  in  my  power,  to  induce  a  compliance  with 
the  proposal  :  stating,  in  the  liveliest  colours  I  could,  the  advantages 
which  must  accrue  from  the  success  of  such  a  scheme,  and  heartfelt 
gratification  of  turning  our  misfortunes  into  a  source  of  gallantry  and 
enterprize.  To  all  these  a  variety  of  objections,  suggested  by  fear  or 
indecision,  were  made  :  amongst  others,  it  was  asked,  how  we  were 
to  find  our  way  in  so  dark  and  tempestuous  a  night?  I  readily 
acknowledged  the  danger  to  be  considerable,  but,  on  the  other  hand, 
wished  to  know,  what  perils  could  be  equal  to  those  of  passing 
the  rest  of  our  lives  in  the  chains  of  slavery  ?  And  this  interroga- 
tory, if  put  to  more  resolute  characters,  might  have  produced  a  very 
different  effect.  As  it  was,  I  drew  a  melancholy  consolation  from  the 
thought  of  having  attempted,  at  least,  to  inspire  my  fellow  captives 
with  that  courage,  which  could  alone  afford  any  chance  of  our  libe- 
ration. There  being  no  farther  hopes  of  persuading  the  seamen,  I 
returned  sorrowfully  to  my  cell;  and,  as  it  generally  happens,  the 
propitious  moment  once  lost,  seldom  returns,  I  had  not  remained  long 
below,  when  the  weather  began  to  moderate  :*  this  was  followed  by  a 

*  This  cheering  moment  of  the  seaman's  life  is  finely  illustrated  by  Mr.  Moore,  in 
that  exquisite  poem  Lalla  Rookh  : — 

Hov7  calm,  how  beautiful  comes  on 

The  stilly  hour  when  storms  are  gone  : 

When  warring  winds  have  died  away, 

And  clouds,  beneath  the  glancing  ray, 

Melt  off,  and  leave  the  land  and  sea 

Sleeping  in  bright  tranquillity.  Ed. 

CAPTURE    OF    A    GREEK    VESSEL.  «9 

serene  sky,  which  seemed  to  produce  an  electric  effect  on  the  barba- 
rians, who,  from  a  state  of  the  utmost  i^ar  and  pusillanimity,  soon 
changed  their  tone,  and  assumed  their  usual  savage  joy  and  native 
ferocity.  With  respect  to  my  own  feelings,  although  the  sea  was 
calm,  the  tempest  of  the  mind  still  continued  unabated. 

Another  source  of  horrid  pleasure  was  soon  afforded  to  the  crew, 
by  a  strange  sail's  being  announced.  While  scarcely  to  be  distinguished 
with  the  aid  of  a  spy-glass,  chace  was  immediately  given,  and  prepa- 
rations made  for  battle.  As  if  positive  that  an  engagement  would 
take  place,  the  Mahometans  were  animated  to  the  approaching 
combat,  by  a  promise  to  those  who  might  fall,  of  all  the  ineffable 
delights  which  the  houris  of  Paradise  could  bestow.  It  afterwards 
turned  out,  that  all  this  bombast  was  occasioned  by  a  small  Greek 
ship  :  reminding  me  of  him  who  borrowed  the  club  of  Hercules  to 
kill  a  frog  !  Having  soon  reached  the  Greek,  she  was  not  found  to  be 
so  easy  a  conquest  as  the  Algerines  expected  ;  and  though  with  very 
few  guns  on  board,  she  made  a  brave  and  determined  resistance. 
Finding,  however,  that  there  were  no  means  of  escape,  and  in  order  to 
diminish  their  value  as  a  prize,  previous  to  striking  her  colours,  they 
threw  the  most  valuable  part  of  their  cargo  overboard.  So  that  when 
the  pirates  boarded,  with  all  the  avidity  of  robbers  who  anticipate  a 
large  treasure,  they  found  themselves  somewhat  in  the  situation  of 
Gil  Bias,  when,  on  emptying  the  contents  of  the  friar's  bag,  per- 
ceived it  contained  only  some  old  metals,  and  a  few  agnus  Dei  !  The 
poorGreeks,  however,  paid  dearly  for  their  bravery,  and  were  both  abused 
and  bastinadoed  directly  they  ascended  the  sides  of  the  Algerine. 

While  occupied  in  the  reflections  suggested  by  my  new  situation, 
and  the  ill-fortune  which  threw  the  Greeks  into  such  barbarous 
hands,  I  could  not  help  thinking,  in  opposition  to  some  moralists 
who  so  warmly  advocate  the  doctrine  of  a  blind  fatalism,  that  there 
is  a  particular  providence  displayed  in  the  history  of  all  men's  lives. 
Be  this  as  it  may,  we  next  encountered  a  Tunisian  corvette  ;  and  as 
a  fierce  war  raged  between  the  two  states  at  this  time,  the  meeting 

P  4 


was  followed  by  an  obstinate  eut^agement.  Being  on  deck  in  the 
early  part  of  it,  we  recollected  that  bullets  pay  no  respect  to  persons  : 
as  these  soon  came  in  somewhat  too  close  contact  with  our  ears,  we 
were  far  from  being  «  notreaise;  and  however  gratifying-  it  may  be  to 
fight  for  one's  religion,  country,  and  king,  we  could  see  no  pleasure 
in  dying  for  the  Turks.  This  gave  rise  to  our  taking  an  early  oppor- 
tunity of  quitting  the  tield  ;  and  like  what  is  related  of  a  Genoese 
passenger,  were  satisfied  with  putting  our  heads  above  the  hatches 
when  the  battle  subsided,  and  asking  whether  Me  had  taken  them, 
or  they  us  J  Several  broadsides  having  been  exchanged,  the  Tunisian 
was  at  length  forced  to  surrender.  It  was  then  we  had  occasion  to 
witness  the  barbarous  vengeance  of  an  ungenerous  enemy,  in  the 
conduct  of  the  Algerines  towards  their  prisoners,  who  were  all 
put  into  irons,  while  their  brave  commander's  head,  struck  of}'  and 
placed  on  a  pike,  was  carried  round  the  siiip  in  triumph  ;  it  was 
afterwards  put  up  in  a  conspicuous  point  to  be  looked  at,  forming 
a  frightful  spectacle  to  myself  and  companions.  Nothing  could 
exceed  the  ferocious  and  turbulent  exultation  created  by  this  great 
victory.  The  Rais,  big  witli  importance,  fancied  he  had  achieved 
wonders  ;  and  a  long  time  was  taken  up  in  receiving  the  felicita- 
tions of  his  officers  and  crew  :  we  also  thought  it  prudent  to  follow 
their  example  ;  although,  to  say  the  truth,  we  felt  a  sentiment  of 
pity  for  the  Tunisians,  seeing  into  what  cruel  hands  they  had 
fallen.  Without  forgetting  the  divine  precept  of  rejoicing  with  the 
happy,  and  weeping  with  the  unfortunate,*  it  was  as  well  to  secure  a 
little  mildness  on  the  part  of  our  oppressors,  by  assuming  an  air  of 
satisfaction  which  it  was  impossible  in  reality  to  feel.  The  great  have 
been  compared  to  windmills,  which  require  a  breeze  before  they 
can  be  useful. 

*  After  the  battle  of  St.  Quentin  between  Charles  the  Fifth,  and  Francis  the  First,  the 
Venetian  senate  sent  its  congratulations  to  the  victors,  and  condolence  to  the  defeated 
party.  When  the  ambassadors  of  the  latter  power  remonstrated  on  the  impropriety  of  this 
conduct,  the  Doge  replied,  that  he  only  acted  in  obedience  to  the  sacred  injunction. 
Gaudete  cum  gaudentibus,  fletè  cum  flentibus ! 


Having,  soon  after  the  storm  began,  seen  the  brig  containing  the 
rest  of  our  companions  in  misfortune,  sadly  tossed  about  by  the  mer- 
ciless waves,  she  was  in  a  short  time  lost  sight  of;  and  it  was  now 
four  days  since  we  last  saw  her,  when  she  fortunately  hove  in  sight  ; 
removing  a  state  of  the  most  painful  anxiety  for  the  safety  of  our 
friends.  When  sufficiently  close  to  the  frigate  they  were  all  transferred 
to  her;  so  that  we  had  the  pleasure  of  being  again  united:  a  circum- 
stance which  afforded  the  greatest  satisfaction  to  all  the  party.  There 
is  a  singular  pleasure  attached  to  association,  whether  amidst  the  ill- 
fated  children  of  adversity,  or  in  the  noisy  tumult  of  battle;  for  the  human 
mind,  when  abandoned  to  itself  and  solitude,  is  generally  desolate. 

Our  captain  too,  against  whom  there  were  so  many  just  causes 
of  complaint,  excited  our  commiseration,  and  all  was  forgotten.  We 
no  longer  beheld  in  him  the  author,  but  companion  of  our  misfor- 
tunes. Indeed  the  ci-devant  king  cut  a  wretched  figure,  thus  fallen 
from  his  '  high  estate  ;'  and  appeared  sincerely  afflicted  with  what 
had  happened  to  us.  Perhaps  he  might  have  erred  from  imprudence 
and  temerity,  rather  than  any  wish  of  wilfully  exposing  us  to  so 
great  a  risk.  Be  that  as  it  may,  the  confession  of  our  faults  ought 
to  go  a  great  way  in  expiating  them  ;  and  no  virtue  is  more  accept- 
able to  heaven  than  repentance.  It  is  finely  said  in  a  book  of 
Hindoo  morality,  that  the  good  man  should  not  only  pardon,  but 
even  wish  well  to  his  enemy  ;  like  the  sandal  tree,  which,  in  its  fall, 
covers  the  axe  with  perfume,  by  which  it  has  been  felled.  Learn, 
says  the  poet  Hafiz,  from  the  shells  of  the  sea,  to  fill  the  hand  up- 
lifted against  thee,  with  pearls.  Do  you  see  that  tree  assaulted  by  a 
cloud  of  stones  ?  What  does  it  shower  on  those  who  throw  them  ? 
Delicious  fruits  and  odoriferous  flowers  ! 

"  Ah  !"  exclaimed  the  poor  Boschi,  Avhose  life  was  written  by 
the  witty  and  satirical  Landi;*    "Ah!  this  ///è  will  surely  be  my 

*  The  Abate  Landi,  a  native  of  Talla,  and  vicar  of  San  Giovanni,  near  Arezzo,  was 
a  man  of  incomparable  wit,  possessing  extraordinary  talents  in  the  more  facetious  walks 

42  FILTHY    CREW. 

death  !"  An  expression  which  ficquently  occurred  to  myself  while  pent 
up  in  the  filthy  Algerine  ship,  where  every  object  combined  to  make 
us  weary  of  life.  In  the  first  place,  ovir  crew  Avere  composed  of  almost 
every  race  sent  forth  by  the  Afi'ican  continent,  with  the  addition  of 
several  of  the  Levantine  banditti,  who  are  yearly  imported  from 
Smyrna,  and  otlier  parts  of  Turkey,  for  the  service  of  the  regencies  ; 
and  there  was  as  great  a  diversity  of  colour,  as  nations  ;  from  the 
flat-nosed  natives  of  Tornbuctoo,  to  the  white  and  ferocious  descend- 
ants of  the  Almohades.  By  way  of  rendering  the  scene  still  more 
obnoxious,  this  motley  crew  were  all  either  affected  with  some  corrod- 
ing humour,  or  swarming  with  vermin.  Constantly  expecting  that 
a  plague,  the  natural  companion  of  so  much  filth,  would  break  out, 
and  doomed  to  see  these  stupid  fatalists  with  lighted  lamps,  and  pipes 
in  every  part  of  the  vessel  ;  our  anxiety  between  such  a  consoling  choice 
of  evils,  is  not  to  be  easily  described  ;  and  made  me  often  wish  for 
the  tub  of  Diogenes.  As  to  the  gloomy  hole  in  which  we  went 
through  the  painful  ceremony  of  attempting  to  sleep,  it  could  only  be 
described  in  the  language,  and  compared  to  the  Inferno  of  our  im- 
mortal poet  : 

of  poetic  composition.  Towards  the  end  of  his  days,  however,  owing  perhaps  to  their 
satirical  turn,  he  consigned  several  valuable  productions  to  the  flames  ;  but  I  believe  there 
are  still  many  remaining  at  Arezzo,  and  amongst  others  some  cantos  of  the  Boscheide,  a 
strong  satire,  professing  to  give  the  life  of  Boschi,  another  ecclesiastic  in  the  neighbourhood. 
The  latter  was  so  deeply  affected  by  its  severity,  that  he  conjured  the  bishop  of  his  diocese 
to  prevail  on  Landi  to  withdraw  the  poem  ;  concluding  his  application  by  emphatically 
saying,  that  "  Landi's  life  would  be  his  death."  On  applying  to  the  satirist  for  this  pur- 
pose, his  answer  to  the  prelate  was,  Nolo  mortem  peccaioris  ;  convertaiur  et  vivat.  A 
butcher  of  Arezzo,  who  had  amassed  a  large  fortune,  having  built  a  fine  palace  near  the 
town,  was  desirous  of  an  inscription  from  Landi  for  his  new  villa,  and  received  the  follow- 
ing, Ossibus  et  nervis  compegisti  me;  and  which,  not  happening  to  be  very  profoundly 
versed  in  the  Latin,  he  caused  to  be  duly  engraved  on  a  large  slab  of  marble,  and  fixed 
over  the  hall  door  !  Upon  another  occasion,  when  a  question  arose  as  to  the  propriety  of  a 
small  corporation  continuing  its  annual  offering  of  a  pig  to  a  grandee  of  the  country,  Landi, 
whose  opinion  was  asked,  coolly  replied,  "  You  may  do  whatever  you  please,  gentlemen  ; 
hut  the  hog  will  always  Uloug  lo  him .'' 


Oscura,  p  rofond'era,  e  nebulosa 

Tanto,  che  per  ficcar  lo  viso  al  fondo 

r  non  vi  discernea  veruna  cosa.         Inf.  C.  iv.* 

Packed  together  like  herrings,  ours  was  truly  the  bed  of  Pro- 
crustes. Stretched  along  the  decks  in  the  manner  of  the  Turks, 
obliged  to  eat  our  wretched  meal  with  the  lowest  part  of  the  crew, 
and  only  supplied  with  wooden  spoons,  such  as  used  by  the  Capu- 
chins of  Italy,  we  were  invariably  under  the  necessity  of  waiting 
till  the  beautiful  mouths  of  our  black  and  tawny  companions  were 
filled.  The  beverage  consisted  of  putrid  water,  which  was  handed 
round  to  the  company  in  a  large  earthen  pitcher.  Cuscousou  was  the 
unvarying  dish;  and  if  we  occasionally  felt  inclined  to  season  it  with 
any  thing,  it  was  necessary  to  have  recourse  to  a  miserable  steward, 
named  Solyman,  who  exacted  an  exorbitant  price  for  the  most  trifling- 
indulgence  ;  and  as  the  Rais  had  generously  taken  all  our  money 
into  his  deposit,  something  like  confiding  pork  to  the  care  of  a  cat  ; 
it  was  vain  to  expect  any  supply  from  our  obdurate  keeper.  A 
young  ofiicer  having  applied  to  his  prince  for  an  increase  of  pay, 
representing  his  present  means  as  altogether  inadequate  to  his  wants, 
the  latter,  attentively  surveying  his  person,  obsei-ved,  tliat  it  was  not 
usual  for  people  to  look  so  fat  and  healthy  upon  short  allowance. 
"  Please  your  highness,"  said  the  ofiicer,  "  this  round  face  is  not 
mine,  but  belongs  to  my  hostess,  a  good  soul,  who  has  hitherto  been 
kind  enough  to  give  me  credit!"  Far  otherwise  with  the  stingy 
Solyman,  over  whose  door  we  might  well  have  inscribed.  Pay  to-day, 
and  trust  to-morrow  !  Our  starving  situation  had  some  affinity  to  a 
poor  and  secluded  sisterhood  of  Arezzo,  to  whom  the  vivacious  Landi, 
already  mentioned,  presented  a  cage  in  which  a  beautiful  canary  bird 
was  enclosed,  together  with  a  graceful  copy  of  verses,  in  which  the 

*  Now  thro'  the  void  and  viewless  shadows  drear, 
Short  sighs,  thick  coming,  led  the  lisfning  ear. 
Trembling  iu  murmurs  low  along  the  gale.  Boyd. 


poet  makes  the  nuns  address  the  bird  on  the  striking  analogy  of  their 
respective  conditions.  "  Thou,  sweet  bird,  art  shut  up  in  your  cage; 
and  so  are  we  in  our  convent.  You  salute  the  morning  with  your 
mellifluous  notes,  and  our  song  is  heard  at  every  dawn.  You  fre- 
quently chirp  at  the  wires  of  your  little  cage,  while  we  often  buzz 
and  hum  at  our  grate.  But  more  happy  than  us,  you  are  always  well 
supplied  with  a  crust  and  millet  ;  whereas  we  are  seldom  at  table, 
and  rather  live  by  our  sighs."  The  address  concludes  thus: 

Quanto,  o  vago  augelin,  la  nostra  vita 
Delia  tua  si  può  dir  puì  sventurata  ; 
A  te  non  s'impedisce  che  1'  uscita, 
E  noi  Siam  senza  uscita  e  senza  entrata  ! 

The  affairs  of  this  world  are  infinitely  varied,  presenting  an 
endless  diversity  in  their  appearance  and  character:  and  it  is  so  ordered 
by  a  beneficent  Providence,  that  there  is  scarcely  any  situation,  how- 
ever unfortunate,  which  does  not  admit  of  some  alleviation.  This 
ordinance  of  the  Divinity  w  as  not  thrown  away  upon  us  ;  and  in  the 
midst  of  our  troubles,  we  had  sufficient  strength  of  mind  to  reflect, 
that  when  inquietude  and  agitation  are  only  calculated  to  render  the 
intricate  web  of  fate  more  difficult  to  be  unravelled,  prudence  sug- 
gests the  necessity  of  patiently  yielding  to  its  inscrutable  decrees.  If 
not  happy  or  resigned,  there  is  at  least  a  possibility  of  being  tranquil 
in  the  worst  situations.  The  truth  of  this  assertion  has  been  proved 
in  a  variety  of  instances.  A  prisoner  of  distinction,  who  had  been 
for  some  time  shut  up  in  the  Bastille,  confessed  the  days  he  p  assed 
there,  were  far  from  being  the  most  unhappy  of  his  life.  The  great 
Menzicoff"  knew  how  to  find  consolation,  when  exiled  in  the  wilds 
of  Siberia;  and  Cervantes  began  his  inimitable  romance  in  the 
prisons  of  Agamanzillas. 

Having  regained  a  little  of  that  dignity,  of  which  the  first  shock 
of  adversity  deprived  us,  we  began  to  feel  that  degree  of  pride,  and 
even  haughtiness,  whicli    self-love  generally  makes  the  offspring  of 


misfortune  in  well  regulated  minds.*  This  sentiment  led  to  a  more 
dispassionate  examination  of  our  real  condition,  in  which  the  good 
and  evil  parts  of  it  were  duly  appreciated.  It  is  true,  our  diet  was 
not  of  the  finest  quality  ;  but  hunger,  the  best  of  all  sauces,  made  us 
eat  ;  and  though  our  bed  was  not  of  down,  yet  habit  enabled  us  to 
sleep.  It  must  be  confessed,  that  the  never  changing  dish  of  Cuscou- 
sou  was  rather  irksome.  But  though  in  the  hands  of  pirates,  we 
were  out  of  irons;  so  that  upon  the  whole,  our  case  was  not  quite  so 
hopeless  as  we  at  first  imagined.  The  two  lovely  children  of  Madame 
Rossi,  both  emblems  of  innocence,  were  the  natural  care  of  Heaven, 
and  its  protection  was  bounteously  extended  to  us  on  their  account. 
It  was  only  necessary  to  send  Luigina  round  amongst  the  Turks, 
and  she  was  sure  to  return  with  her  little  apron  full  of  dried  figs  and 
other  fruits.  She  was  to  us  poor  penitents,  what  the  dove  had  been 
to  the  holy  anchorites  of  Upper  Egypt.  Such  is  the  effect  of  inno- 
cence, even  upon  barbarians  !  f 

On  a  more  intimate  acquaintance,  we  discovered  some  very  ho- 
nourable exceptions  to  the  general  character  of  the  Algerines  ;  and 
amongst  others,  I  shall  always  recollect  with  pleasure,  Achmet  the 
son  of  an  Arab  prince,  who  really  possessed  several  very  excellent 
qualities.  This  young  man  acted  as  secretary  to  the  Rais,  and  having 
visited  most  of  the  European  ports,  spoke  French  and  Italian  fluently. 
It  is  also  but  just  to  mention,  the  aga  of  the  Turkish  militia;  and  it 
would  be  deviating  from  the  strict  impartiality  of  my  views,  were  I 
not  to  declare  that  there  was  no  personal  insult  offered  to  our  party, 
while  on  board  the  frigate  :  and  above  all,  it  was  most  gratifying  to 
observe,  that  the  females  were  treated  with  the  utmost  deference.     To 

*  It  was  said  of  a  lady  that  she  had  too  much  pride  :  she  replied,  "  I  am  haughty, 
but  not  proud."  "  What  difference  do  you  make  then,  between  haughtiness  and  pride?" 
"  Why,  that  pride  is  offensive,  and  haughtiness  merely  defensive."' 

t  Madame  de  Genlis  observes,  that  if  you  ask  the  greatest  criminals,  whether  they 
were  ever  fond  of  children,  they  will  reply  in  the  negative. 


be  sure,  tliey  were  sometimes  obliged  to  reply  to  the  flattering-  com- 
pliments and  gallant  questions  of  the  Turks.  During  their  conversation 
the  Muselmen  often  reminded  me  of  Capuchin  noviciates.  The  Rais 
too  began  to  invite  us  occasionally  into  his  cabin,  where  an  Arab  tale 
was  recited,  and  what  was  still  better,  a  cup  of  good  Yemen  coffee 
handed  round,  followed  by  a  small  glass  of  rum,  that  is  to  say,  of  our 
own,  which  had  been  taken  out  of  the  brig.  Those  are  not  the 
worst  species  of  robbers,  who  take  with  one  hand,  and  return  a  little 
of  the  stolen  property  with  the  other. 

But  who  could  have  supposed,  that  on  board  an  Algerine  corsair, 
amidst  uncultivated  Africans,  we  had  our  conversazioni,  academies, 
and  routs,  and  almost  a  musical  opera  Ì  We  regularly  assembled  to 
hear  their  harsh  ditties,  and  witness  the  awkward  dances  of  the  Moors 
and  negroes  ;  and  when  asked  to  sing  in  our  turn,  were  determined 
not  to  be  outdone  in  politeness.  Cantabit  vacuus  coram  latrane  via- 
tor. We,  in  fact,  thought  ourselves  so  many  Orpheus's  on  board  the 
ships  of  the  Argonauts  ;  while  the  black  listeners  appeared  softened 
by  the  tender  melody  of  our  Italian  music  :  like  the  assassin,  by  the 
dulcet  sounds  of  Stradella  ;*  or  Thalaba,  at  the  aerial  tones  of  Cara- 
doc's  harp.  AVe  saw,  that  even  amidst  barbarians,  the  best  way  of 
gaining  the  affections  and  esteem  of  society,  is  to  mingle  in  its  rational 
amusements.  Like  the  rest  of  the  world,  they  estimated  our  merits  in 
proportion  as  we  could  enjoy  ourselves  ;  and,  to  be  thought  clever,  it 
V  was  only  necessary  to  be  affable. 

It  has  been  observed,  that  nature  produces  the  blossom  before  she 

*  The  celebrated  Stradella,  one  of  the  finest  musicians  of  his  day,  having  eloped  with 
a  beautiful  woman  whom  he  afterwards  married,  excited  the  resentment  of  her  parents  to 
such  a  degree,  that  they  hired  two  assassins  for  the  purpose  of  dispatching  him  :  these, 
determined  to  execute  their  design,  placed  themselves  at  a  church  door  in  which  the  musi- 
cian was  presiding  at  an  oratorio,  and  were  so  affected  by  his  exquisite  strains,  that  when 
the  moment  of  putting  their  murderous  plan  into  effect  arrived,  they  fell  at  his  feet,  and 
with  tears  confessed  the  horrible  scheme  in  which  his  relations  had  engaged  them. 


gives  the  fruit.  A  young  man  once  presented  a  memorial  to  a  minis- 
ter, soliciting  a  trifling  situation  in  the  customs  ;  the  an.swer  consisted 
of  those  common-place  assurances  of  oflice  which  generally  end  in 
smoke  :  previous,  however,  to  his  going  away,  the  supplicant  took  the 
liberty  of  telling  the  great  man,  that  he  had  also  rendered  his  petition 
into  verse  ;  the  minister,  who  had  dined  «  la  rose,  and  taken  his  wine, 
replied  smilingly,  that  he  was  curious  to  see  how  a  petition  for  a 
place  in  the  custom-house  could  be  expressed  in  poetry.  The  verses 
were  then  recited,  upon  which  the  minister,  who  was  a  connoisseur, 
and  had  liimself  written  a  few  sonnets  to  the  eye-brows,  could  not. 
help  acknowledging,  that  they  possessed  ease  and  facility.  "  Seeing 
that  your  excellency  has  so  much  condescension,"  rejoined  the  young 
aspirant,  "  permit  me  to  infonn  you,  that  I  have  also  set  the  verses  to 
music."  "  Indeed  !"  said  the  minister  :  "  that  must  really  be  a  new 
coinage."  Having  gratified  his  excellency  in  this  particular,  he  next 
proceeded  to  inform  him,  that  he  had  composed  a  htiUcl,  which  he 
followed  up  by  a  pas  seni.  This  was  the  ne  jilus  ultra  of  perfec- 
tion, and  led  to  the  petitioner's  immediate  appointment,  not  to  a 
place  in  tlie  customs,  but  to  be  one  of  tlie  minister's  secretaries  ; 
where  he  soon  became  a  dog  in  oflice  :  proving,  that  talents  of  the 
heel  are  sometimes  preferred  to  those  of  the  head,  in  the  choice  of 
public  characters.* 

Notwithstanding  the  consoling  result  of  our  more  philosophical 
reflections,  our  uncertainty  with  regard  to  the  future,  could  not  fail 
to  be  an  occasional  source  of  uneasiness.  Without  putting  us  in  irons, 
or  making  us  work,  we  could  not  forget  that  they  were  in  full  pos- 

*  I  have  never  heard  of  any  very  particular  instance  of  a  talent  for  dancing  having 
been  instrumental  in  raising  any  one  from  obscurity  into  official  importance.  Not  so  with 
singing,  which  is  said  to  have  placed  many  a  man  in  the  sun-shine  of  court  favor,  some- 
times elevating  them  from  the  humble  office  of  scribe  to  the  dignity  of  a  foreign  embassy. 
I  have  also  heard  that  the  corps  diplomatique  in  a  certain  court  of  Italy,  I  will  not  say  of 
what  country,  is  chiefly  occupied  in  strumming  on  the  guitar,  taking  lessons  in  singing,  and 
learning  to  perform  the  dignified  offices  of  cicisòeoism  .'—Ed. 


session  of  our  persons,  unlimitedly  exercising  la  loi  da  plus  fort  on 
all  our  effects.  In  this  state  of  doubtful  ambiguity,  our  situation 
was  not  unlike  the  countr^^nan  of  the  fable,  whose  ass  was  magically 
taken  away,  leaving  him  on  the  saddle  to  reflect  on  his  new  posi- 
tion. In  adversity,  however,  it  is  infinitely  better  to  draw  a  favour- 
able inference  from  the  future,  than  harass  the  mind  with  phantoms 
of  imaginary  evils.  The  art  of  ingeniously  tormenting  ourselves  by 
the  anticipation  of  ills  which  may  never  arrive,  is  not  amongst  the 
least  of  human  weaknesses.  Nothing  can  be  more  true  than  that  the 
greatest  sorrows  lose  much  of  tlieir  intensity  by  contact  ;  and  that  while 
the  mind  is  occupied  in  conjuring  up  ideal  misery,  it  feels  all  the 
severity  of  real  misfortune  which  may  never  occur.  By  a  parity  of 
reasoning,  people  with  this  melancholy  turn,  are  at  once  guilty  of 
ingratitude  to  heaven  for  its  protecting  vigilance,  and  of  injustice 
towards  themselves,  in  not  drdy  estimating  their  real  share  of  hap- 

Upon  the  whole,  after  some  days  our  prospects  assumed  rather  a 
brighter  aspect,  and  we  began  to  consider  our  case  as  one  of  those 
episodes,  to  which,  in  some  shape  or  another,  most  travellers  are 
occasionally  subject  ;  and  that,  however  unpleasant  for  the  time,  the 
jecapitulation  of  our  present  adventures  would  be  a  source  of  amuse- 
ment in  a  future  day.  "  Knight  errants,"  says  Sancha  Panza,  "  are 
always  prepared  either  to  become  emperors,  or  receive  a  good  drub- 
bing !"  We,  too,  began  to  imbibe  a  little  of  that  stoical  philoso- 
phy, which  supported  the  knight  of  La  Mancha  ;  fondly  anticipat- 
ing that  on  our  arrival  at  Algiers,  we  should  quietly  be  suffered  to 
range  about  in  perfect  libert\'.  Even  the  novelty  of  seeing  a  country, 
so  new  and  strange  to  us,  was  not  unaccompanied  with  a  feeling  of 
pleasure.  As  but  too  generally  happens, .  when  castle  building  com- 
mences, the  airy  architect  seldom  knows  when  to  stop  :  so  it  was  with 
lis.  The  merchant  Terreni's  imagination  had  already  presented  a  hun- 
dred profitable  speculations.  He  was  determined  to  buy  a  large  assort- 


ment  of  carpets,  and  other  valuable  commodities  ;  the  painter  pro- 
posed to  delineate  the  interior  of  the  Dey's  palace  ;  while  our  ladies 
fancied  themselves  embellished  with  the  finest  shawls  of  Barbary,  and 
perfumed  by  its  otto  of  roses.  How  delightful  this  tendency  in  our 
nature  to  soften  the  rigours  of  adversity,  by  illusory  dreams  of  future 
felicity!  "  To  whom  has  it  not  occurred,"  says  Madame  de  Stael, 
"  that  while  oppressed  with  the  deepest  afflictions,  a  sweet  impulse 
arises  in  the  soul,  whispering  a  speedy  termination  to  its  woes  :  like 
the  celestial  sounds  which  charmed  the  pious  wanderers  of  the  The- 
baid,  announcing  that  the  salutary  stream  was  about  to  issue  from  the 
rock?"  The  eloquent  Chateaubriand  observes,  that  "  hope  banished 
from  the  habitations  of  the  rich,  has  taken  up  its  abode  in  the  midst 
of  the  unhappy  :  watching  over  man,  like  a  tender  mother  at  the  bed 
of  her  sickly  offspring  ;  she  rocks  him  in  her  arms,  nourishing  him 
with  a  balm  for  all  his  sorrows  ;  her  vigils  are  kept  over  his  solitary 
pillow,  while  her  magic  song  lulls  him  to  repose  !"  "  You,"  said  a 
lady  to  the  friend  of  her  early  life,  "  were,  in  those  fortunate  days  of  joy 
and  happiness,  beautiful  as  hope  !"  It  is  hope  that  gives  wings  to 
love,  and  plucks  the  thorn  from  despair.  It  is,  in  fact,  pleasure  in 
flower  and  in  leaf  ! 

The  Rais  into  whose  hands  we  had  the  honour  of  falling,  was 
named  Hamida,  and  though  possessing  a  swarthy  complexion,  and 
rather  fierce  physiognomy,  his  manners  were  by  no  means  repulsive. 
Notwithstanding  the  almost  invariable  rule  at  Algiers,  of  conferring 
all  important  commands  on  the  Janizaries,  this  man  had  advanced 
to  the  rank  of  grand  admiral,  although  a  Moor,  and  even  one  of 
the  ignoble  race  of  the  Cubail.  His  chief  claims  to  power,  were  de- 
rived from  merit  and  reputation,  titles  which  preserved  him  in  office, 
in  defiance  of  a  large  Turkish  cabal,  which  tried  every  means  to  sup- 
plant him.  Hamida  was  really  endowed  with  talents  and  courage; 
he  was  above  all,  extremely  fertile  in  expedients,  being  indebted  to 
his  most  brilliant  successes  for  his  ability  in  this  way.  Having  when 
young,  served  with  the  Portuguese,   he  was  now  considered  as  the 



best  naval  officer  in  the  Regency.  While  only  in  the  command  of  a 
small  shabeque,  he  evinced  many  proofs  of  ability,  and  made  several 
valuable  prizes  ;  extending  his  cruizes  as  far  as  Madeira,  and  the 
banks  of  Newfoundland,  where  he  was  also  very  successful  against 
the  Americans.  But  the  grand  enterprize,  which  acquired  him  so 
much  popularity,  placing  his  name  on  a  level  with  those  of  Sinan 
and  Dragut,  was  his  capture  of  a  large  Portuguese  frigate,  the  very 
ship  in  which,  as  grand  admiral,  he  was  destined  to  make  slaves  of 
myself  and  companions.  For  this  singular  instance  of  good  fortune, 
he  was,  however,  indebted  to  a  ruse  de  guerre,  aided  by  the  inadver- 
tency of  the  Portuguese  captain,  who  having  communicated  with  an 
English  frigate,  and  lost  sight  of  her,  shortly  after  saw  another, 
which  from  the  weather's  being  rather  foggy,  he  took  to  be  the  same 
ship,  and  consequently  made  no  preparations  for  action.  It  happened, 
however,  to  be  the  corsair  of  Rais  Hamida,  who  displaying  an 
English  ensign,  approached  the  unsuspecting  Portuguese  ;  and  was 
not  discovered  until  he  came  within  hail,  upon  which  he  immediately 
laid  the  enemy  on  board,  and  by  a  coup  de  main  took  possession  of 
his  prize,  before  the  officers  and  crew  had  time  even  to  arm  for  their 

Once,  while  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Pantellaria,  he  made  so 
many  friendly  signals,  as  to  induce  the  commandant  to  believe, 
that  his  was  a  British  ship  of  war.  With  this  idea  he  went  off  to 
Hamida's  ship,  and  was  not  only  retained,  but  loaded  with  chains. 
The  predominant  defect  of  Hamida's  character,  like  that  of  most  other 
people,  was  his  fancying  himself  a  man  of  great  virtue.  Distin- 
guished merit  becomes  lessened  by  self-examination,  while  mediocrity 
is  viewed  by  its  possessor  in  an  inverse  ratio.  Eyes  were  not  given 
for  the  purpose  of  looking  into  ourselves.  The  Rais  was  also  fond 
of  depreciating  the  merits  of  others,  by  attributing  every  success  to 
his  own  bravery  and  talents  ;  like  his  prototypes  in  the  more  civilized 
world.  This  arrogant  feeling  had  the  effect  of  making  Hamida  under- 
take more  than  he  could,  by  his  single  exertions,  ever  hope  to  per- 


perform.  He  might  indeed  be  with  propriety  compared  to  an  officer, 
who  boasted  of  being  his  own  colonel,  his  own  lieutenant,  and  liis 
own  sergeant,  "  Yes,"  said  another,  "  and  your  own  trumpeter  also!" 
Nor  was  Hamida  by  any  means  strict  in  repressing  the  excesses  or 
love  of  plunder,  so  natural  to  his  crew,  upon  both  of  which  he  fre- 
quently shut  his  eyes.  This  conduct  he  justified,  by  saying  these  were 
trifles  below  the  attention  of  a  good  general.  Besides,  he  was  not  am- 
bitious of  sharing  the  fate  of  two  of  his  predecessors,  who  from  wish- 
ing to  restrain  the  Janizaries  on  similar  occasions,  lost  their  lives. 
He  scarcely  ever  walked  about  the  ship,  but  seated  cross-legged  on 
a  conspicuous  part  of  the  deck,  he  generally  passed  three  or  four 
hours  of  the  day,  occupying  himself  between  the  intervals  of  giving 
orders,  in  smoking,  and  smoothing  down  his  mustachios.  In  action 
too,  though  he  displayed  both  valour  and  intelligence,  his  violence 
and  impatience  was  a  source  of  constant  annoyance  to  his  inferiors. 
Cardinal  Dubois,  who  was  equally  notorious  for  sudden  bursts  of  pas- 
sion, generally  vented  on  his  poor  secretaries;  once  in  a  great  press 
of  business,  swore  that  he  must  add  at  least  thirty  more  to  conclude 
it  "  Take  only  one,  to  abuse  us  for  you,"  tranquilly  replied  an  em- 
ploye, "  and  all  will  go  on  with  order  and  celerity  !" 

Driven  about  by  adverse  winds,  we  at  one  time  came  in  sight  of 
the  fatal  spot  in  which,  previous  to  taking  shelter  in  San  Pietro,  we 
saw  the  squadron.  The  barbarians  seemed,  at  this  period,  to  be  at  once 
the  rulers  and  terror  of  the  ocean  :  not  a  vessel  could  leave  tlieir 
port,  and  the  smallest  coasting  boats,  could  alone  avoid  them  ;  by 
creeping  along  the  shore  during  the  night.  The  southerly  winds  con- 
tinuing, I  at  last  beheld  the  Italian  peninsula,  and  even  Tuscanv, 
the  place  of  my  birth,  but  under  what  circumstances  !  And  in  what 
a  situation  !  It  was  thought  we  had  discovered  an  American,  with 
which  nation  the  Algerines  were  then  at  war,  but  proving  to  be  French 
the  chase  was  abandoned  ;  upon  another  occasion,  we  came  in  contact 
with  a  vessel  having  an  English  pass  from  the  consul  at  Cagliari,  but 

II  2 

52  A    NEW   CAPTURE. 

whose  crew  was  composed  of  Genoese  and  Tuscans.  When  sufficiently 
near,  they  were  ordered  to  send  tlieir  boat  and  papers  on  board  ;  and 
on  this  occasion,  I  had  the  honor  of  being  selected  as  the  Rais's  inter- 
preter. This  aiforded  me  the  gratifying  opportunity  of  being  service- 
able to  my  compatriots,  who  were  made  excessively  ill  at  ease  by  the 
rencontre  ;  and  in  the  midst  of  my  own  troubles,  it  was  no  trifling 
consolation  to  reflect,  that  by  giving  the  most  favourable  explanation 
of  their  papers  to  the  Rais,  I  might  be  instmmental  in  hastening 
their  liberation.  I  was  not  deceived  in  this  hope,  and  we  had  soon 
after  the  pleasure  of  seeing  our  trembling  countrymen  finally  released. 
It  was  not,  however,  without  some  little  uneasiness  that  I  reflected 
on  the  impression  which  my  temporary  elevation,  and  apparent  fami- 
liarity with  the  Algerine  commander,  might  have  made  on  the  visitors; 
who,  in  the  event  of  returning  to  Tuscany,  would  perhaps  represent 
matters  in  a  light  not  the  most  flattering  to  my  feelings.  It  would  have 
produced  a  fine  effect  amongst  my  Florentine  acquaintance,  some  of 
whom  are  far  from  inimical  to  a  little  scandal,  to  hear  that  the  hum- 
ble Fillipo  Pananti  was  a  great  man  in  Algiers  ;  ofHciating  as  the 
fuc  totum  and  jiroto-quamquam  of  the  lord  high  admiral.  Such  a 
representation,  the  gobes  tnoiiches  of  Florence  might  have  readily 
magnified  into  a  change  of  religion  and  a  pilgrimage  to  Mecca,  toge- 
ther with  the  various  other  blessings  attendant  on  apostacy. 

E  come  dir  di  me  questo  si  debbc, 
E  creder  ch'io  sia  Turco  e  che  assassini, 
Io  che  faccio  una  vita  che  potrebbe 
Farla  il  padre  guardian  dei  Cappuccini  ? 

Those  who  were  disposed  to  think  of  me  in  this  way  would  have 
done  me  but  little  justice  :  in  the  hands  of  the  Moors,  as  poor  Gil  Bias 
wasin  those  of  Orlando  and  his  companions,  it  was  much  more  difficult 
to  escape  from  the  frigate  than  from  the  cavern.  Instead  of  having  only 
to  elude  the  vigilance  of  Domingo,  there  were  a  hundred  athletic  Turks 
with  bludgeons,  which  would  at  any  time  have  beeu  as  unmercifully 


applied  to  my  shoulders,  as  that  of  the  old  negro's  was  to  those  of  Le 
Sage's  hero  on  his  first  attempt  to  leave  the  sou f errai n.^^ 

Rais  Hamida  having  began  to  indulge  an  idea,  that  a  successful 
descent  might  be  made  on  the  coast  of  Naples,  a  council  of  war  was 
forthwith  assembled,  in  order  to  discuss  this  weighty  matter.  Councils 
of  war  are  generally  fatal  to  the  execution  of  great  enterprizes,  as 
fear  gladly  shields  itself  under  the  mask  of  prudence.  The  accuracy 
of  this  remark  was  fully  exemplified  on  the  present  occasion  ;  when, 
instead  of  landing  on  the  coast  of  Naples,  the  junta  prudently  deter- 
mined to  pass  the  approaching  feast  of  Bayram  in  Algiers.  Gratify- 
ing as  it  was,  to  see  the  piratical  scourge  removed  from  the  coasts  ot 
Italy,  yet  we  left  them  with  feelings  of  regret  ;  a  sentiment  easily 
conceived  by  those  who  consider  the  peculiarity  of  our  situation.  It 
is  related  of  a  Frenchman  driven  from  Paris,  in  the  heat  of  the  revo- 
lution, that  he  was  so  attached  to  his  native  country,  that,  rather 
than  lose  sight  of  it  altogether,  he  embarked  his  family  on  the  Rhine, 
where  he  continued  with  his  eyes  constantly  fixed  on  the  frontiers, 
until  better  times  enabled  him  to  return. 

Previous  to  our  sailing  in  the  immediate  direction  of  Algiers,  we 
made  a  winding  course  towards  Marseilles.  And  this  was  even  fol- 
lowed by  a  determination  to  take  a  turn  on  the  coast  of  Tunis.  Thus, 
after  having  witnessed  their  efforts  against  Christianity,  we  were  des- 
tined to  see  them  repeated  on  their  own  fraternity.  If  any  persons 
were  ill-natured  enough  to  insinuate,  that  we  had,  by  thought  or 
deed,  participated  in  the  triumph  of  the  infidels,  our  co-operation  in 
their  attempts  upon  the  Tunisian  coast,  would,  no  doubt,  be  regarded 
in  a  much  more  favourable  point  of  view.  As  in  the  case  of  an  igno- 
rant student  of  Italy,  who  was  considered  by  his  more  learned  judges, 

*  I  am  inclined  to  believe,  that  these  remarks  of  the  author  were  excited  by  some 
others,  which  were  made  by  certain  chiaccheroni  of  Florence,  that  might  have  occasionally 
amused  themselves  at  the  expence  of  poor  Pananti,  who  would  most  willingly  joke  upon 
any  subject  except  that  of  his  excursion  to  Algiers. — Ed. 

54  WAR    BETWEEN    ALGIERS    AND    TU. MS. 

unworthy  of  a  medical  diploma,  but  obtained  it  nevertheless,  in  con- 
sequence of  stating,  that  he  was  going-  to  practice  in  Turkey  ! 

From  the  coast  of  France  till  we  arrived  on  that  of  Sfax  and  Susa, 
we  encountered  no  adventure  worthy  of  notice  ;  and  the  sea  was  so 
destitute  of  ships,  tliat  Rais  Hamida  might  exclaim  with  the  Corsair 
of  Lord  Byron,  that  the  solitude  of  waters  was  not  enlivened,  even 
by  the  sight  of  an  enemy. 

It  may  be  proper  in  this  place  to  give  some  account  of  the  war, 
which  the  Algerines  and  Tunisians  waged  against  each  other,  at  the 
above  period,  luiequalled  in  virulence  as  it  was  frivolous  in  its  motives  ; 
but  however  calculated  to  gratify  party  spirit,  or  vindictive  zeal,  the 
true  followers  of  Ismalism  well  knew  that 

Corsaires  attaquant  corsaires, 
Ne  font  point  leurs  affaires: 

SO  that  its  chief  popularity  rested  with  the  principal  actors.  Hostili- 
ties had  frequently  broken  out  during  the  last  thirty  years,  between  the 
two  regencies,  and  most  probably,  resulted  in  reality  from  that  jealousy 
so  natural  to  neighbouring  states  of  nearly  equal  power.  Strengthened 
Jiy  the  claims  for  tribute  money  insisted  on  by  the  government  of 
Algiers,  for  the  very  active  part  it  had  formerly  taken  in  placing  the 
family  of  Hamouda  Basha  in  that  of  Tunis,  a  valuable  annual  pre- 
sent was  made  for  many  years  after  Hamouda's  accession  ;  but  as  the 
power  and  solidity  of  his  government  increased,  he  began  to  relax  in 
sending  it  with  his  former  punctuality,  at  a  time  too,  when  custom 
had  induced  the  Dey  of  Algiers  to  consider  it  as  his  due.  The  pride 
and  anogance  of  those  Algerines  who  frecpiented  the  Tunisian  terri- 
tory, had  also  become  very  intolerable  ;  and  the  ukild,  or  ambassador 
of  Algiers  resident  at  Tunis,  wished  to  exercise  an  authority  equal 
to  that  of  the  Bey.  Tired  of  such  repeated  indignities,  the  enraged 
Hamouda  swore  by  his  beard,  and  the  koran,  thathcAVOuld  no  longer 
bear  such  degradations  :  he  therefore  flatly  refused  to  make  any 
future  present,  and  even  went  so  far  as  formally  to  declare  war  against 


bis  oppressors.  This  step  did  not  altogether  please  the  pusillanimous 
individuals  of  his  divan,  but  was  loudly  applauded  by  the  populace. 
Making  at  least  a  show  of  magnanimity,  Hamouda  asserted  that  the 
most  disastrous  war  was  preferable  to  a  dishonourable  state  of  peace; 
and  for  the  successful  termination  of  the  present  undertaking,  he  re- 
lied on  the  justice  of  his  cause,  and  its  well  known  popularity  amongst 
the  people.* 

The  Algerine  government  had  a  decided  superiority  over  its  rival 
in  numbers  and  treasure  ;  while  that  of  Tunis  had  more  stability. 
Though  Algiers  could  send  more  men  into  the  field,  the  Tunisian 
army  possessed  a  greater  moral  force.  The  Algerine  army  was  chiefly 
composed  of  irregular  troops,  without  pay  or  proper  subsistence.  Com- 
pletely undisciplined,  they  separated  and  fled  at  the  first  disasters, 
frequently  putting  their  generals  to  death.  The  Tunisians  were,  on 
the  contrary,  tolerably  well  paid,  and  consequently  better  affected 
towards  the  Bey  ;  they  had  also  a  more  improved  artillery,  which 
was  directed  by  several  Christian  slaves.  Tunis  derived  another  very 
material  advantage  over  the  enemy,  in  the  popular  form  of  its  govern- 
ment, which,  composed  indiscriminately  of  Moors,  Turks,  and  Arabs, 
is  infinitely  more  national  than  that  of  Algiers,  arising  from  Tripoly 
and  Algiers  being  still  exclusively  in  the  hands  of  Turkish  adventurers, 
while  the  Tunisian  government  has  tranquilly  passed  into  those  of  a 
Moorish  family  which  has  also  become  hereditary'.  On  the  other  hand, 
the  Algerines  had  a  manifest  advantage  in  their  secret  intercourse 
and  political  influence  with  the  Turkish  soldiery  of  Tunis;  who, 
knowing  that  it  formerly  belonged  to  themselves,  were  naturally 
anxious  to  regain  their  ascendancy,  and  thus  be  on  an  equality  with 
their  Algerine  brethren.! 

The  Tunisian  forces  consisted  of  four  thousand  Turkish  soldiers, 

*  Hamouda  seems  to  have  argued  as  if  he  knew  .something  of  European  politics. — Ed. 
t  The  subject  is  somewhat  illustrated  in  the  Letters  from  the  Mediterranean,  Vol.  II. 
Chap.  IV.  and  V .—Ed. 


each  of  whom  received  about  two-pence  per  diem  :  all  their  sons  by 
Moorish  women,  who  amounted  to  several  hundreds,  and  are  obliged 
to  serve,  besides  the  whole  of  the  native  warriors  called  the  Zouavi. 
Whenever  war  is  declared,  the  Bey  calls  in  all  the  youth  ol'  his  king- 
dom capable  of  bearing  aims,  the  Bedouin  chiefs  never  fail  to 
attend  the  summons,  bringing  with  them  a  numerous  cavalry,  so 
that  upon  great  occasions  the  army  may  amount  to  nearly  one  hundred 
thousand  men.  The  naval  force  was  composed  of  a  forty  gun  frigate, 
bought  at  Malta  from  English  merchants,  but  previously  taken  from 
the  French  ;  and  eight  or  nine  smaller  ships,  mounting  from  thiiiy- 
six  to  twenty  guns,  together  with  about  fifteen  gun-boats. 

Although  whenever  the  parties  met,  they  fought  desperately,  yet 
the  war  was  conducted  in  the  most  indolent  way  imaginable  ;  without 
any  apparent  object  to  be  attained,  or  anxiety  for  its  conclusion; 
while  neither  of  the  belligerents  were  sufficiently  active,  to  produce  a 
decisive  result  on  its  opponent.  In  the  campaign  which  preceded  our 
appearance  off"  the  coast,  the  Tunisian  army  had  gained  some  very 
considerable  advantages,  owing  to  the  stratagems  employed  by  a 
Christian  slave  who  superintended  its  artillery  ;  and,  by  fonning  a 
masked  battery  on  a  spot,  near  which  the  Algerine  cavalry  passed  in 
pursuit  of  the  Tunisians,  which  destroyed  a  large  portion  of  it.  Upon 
this  occasion  the  whole  army  of  Algiers  was  routed,  and  driven  under 
the  walls  of  Constantina. 

With  respect  to  the  government  of  Tunis,  as  already  observed, 
it  is  monarchical  and  hereditary  :  though,  like  all  the  Turkish  states, 
subject  to  incessant  and  violent  revolutions.  Previous  to  the  accession 
of  Hamouda  Basha,  the  Janizaries  governed  with  undivided  sway, 
after  the  model  of  Algiers  and  Tripoly  ;  but  they  have,  ever  since, 
notwithstanding  their  desperate  efforts  to  regain  power,  been  consi- 
dered merely  as  auxiliaries.  The  brother  and  successor  of  Hamouda 
Basha,  Sydi  Ottoman,  who  came  into  power  in  1813,  on  the  former's 
death,  had  been  chief  aga  of  the  Turkish  soldiery,  and  still  continued 
to  shew  them  great  favour  :  this  gave  rise  to  a  strong  feeling  of  dissa^ 


tisfartion  and  jealousy  on  the  part  of  the  Moors.  IJn<^iateful  for  the 
benefits  they  were  receiving,  and  even  stimulated  by  their  recent 
exaltation,  the  Turks  attempted  to  change  the  form  of  government, 
or  elect  another  bey  tiom  their  own  ranks,  in  the  manner  of  their 
fraternity  at  Algiers.  This  project  ended  in  the  total  destruction  of 
the  principal  ringleaders,  and  degradation  of  the  rest,  to  a  level  with 
the  Jews  and  Christian  slaves.  But  they  are  a  race,  in  whose  hearts 
the  spirit  of  vengeance  does  not  easily  sleep  ;  as  proved  by  various 
commotions  which  have  agitated  Tunis  since  the  above  period  ;  and, 
more  particularly,  upon  a  recent  occasion,  when,  having  determined 
to  make  another  attempt  at  revolt,  they  offered  the  reins  of  govern- 
ment to  a  relatioii  of  Mahmoud  Basha,  the  reigning  Bey,*  and  on  his 
refusal,  the  leading  Turk  proposed  himself  as  their  future  chief  He 
Avas  violently  opposed  by  the  Zouavi,  who  finally  succeeded  in  their 
resistance  to  the  traitors  ;  decapitating  their  leader,  together  with  most 
of  his  companions  :  a  part  of  them,  who  had  taken  possession  of  the 
Goletta,  on  hearing  the  result  of  the  attempt  in  Tunis,  immediately 
seized  four  shabeques  which  lay  in  the  road,  and,  proceeding  up  the 
Levant,  were  captured  by  the  Captain  Pacha,  who  beheaded  several 
of  them.  Since  that  time,  nothing  very  material  has  distinguished  the 
Tunisian  history  ;  the  government  is  now,  no  doubt,  as  firmly  esta- 
blished as  violence  and  usurpation  can  make  it. 

The  revenues  of  this  state  are  collected  at  two  diflTerent  periods 
of  the  year,  when  a  large  body  of  troops,  of  which  one  third  is  com- 
j)osed  of  Turks  and  the  remainder  of  Moors,  commanded  by  a  Caia, 
with  several  agas  under  him,  is  employed  to  receive  it,  or  enforce  the 
payment  of  taxes,  if  necessary.  The  camp  is  generally  followed  by 
nine  cooks  or  purveyors,  who  are  much  respected  by  the  Moors,  and 

*  This  man  is  third  brother  of  the  late  Bey  Haraouda  Basha  ;  and  in  order  to  obtain 
power  by  the  most  popular  means  in  Barbary,  caused  his  brother  who  succeeded  Hamouda 
to  be  strangled  with  all  his  adherents  ;  and  amongst  the  rest,  the  Zapa  Tappa,  and  Mariano 
Stinca,both  particularly  noticed  in  my  account  of  Tunis.  The  latter  I  often  warned  of  his 
impending  danger,  advising  him  to  get  away  before  it  was  too  late.^Ed. 



fiequently  rise  to  the  post  of  Doletros,  or  chief  justices.  Barbary  is 
not  the  only  country  in  whicli  a  knowledge  of  the  culinary  art  leads 
to  emohinient  and  place. 

Rais  Hamida  having  ineftectually  prowled  about  the  vicinity  of 
.Suez  for  some  days,  at  length  determined  to  make  his  appearance  before 
Tunis,  in  the  hope  either  of  enticing  his  enemies  to  come  out,  or  pick 
up  a  few  prizes.  The  ridiculous  attempts  of  both  parties  to  make  a 
semblance  of  bravery,  while  in  this  neighbourhood,  furnished  a 
pretty  strong  specimen  of  that  mixture  of  ferocity  and  bombast  which 
has  enabled  these  wretches  so  long  to  impose  on  the  timid  credulity 
of  nations;  giving  them  credit  for  talents  and  valour,  which  no  peo- 
ple under  the  sanare  farther  from  possessing. 

On  getting  tolerably  near  the  Goletta,  the  Tunisian  squadron, 
whether  disinclined  or  unprepared  for  the  combat,  immediately  hauled 
in  under  the  guns  of  the  fort.  Upon  this.  Rais  Hamida,  placing  his 
squadron  within  about  four  miles  of  them,  began  a  most  furious 
though  useless  cannonade,  which  continued  at  intervals,  during  the 
two  days  we  remained  otF  the  anchorage:  not  one  shot  having,  in  all 
that  time,  reached  its  intended  destination  ;  so  that  if  no  glory  was 
acquired,  there  was  at  least  noise  enough  made.  At  length,  after 
various  bravadoes  on  both  sides,  in  which  mutual  defiance  was  sub- 
stituted for  action,  our  admiral  seemed  to  say  to  his  rival,  "  If  you 
don't  come  out,  I  am  off!"  and  accordingly  we  directed  our  course 
to  the  westward,  along  the  Tunisian  coast.  Comment  va  le  siege 
de  Gibralterf  was  asked  during  the  glorious  defence  of  General 
Elliot.  II  va  bien,  il  commence  à  se  lever,  was  the  answer.  In  com- 
pliance with  long  established  custom,  I  dare  say,  that  in  the  present 
in.stance,  both  sides  claimed  the  victory;  and,  if  following  the  example 
of  other  nations,  there  had  been  bulletins  and  gazettes  extraordinary, 
we  should,  no  doubt,  have  been  favoured  with  a  good  stock  of  splen- 
did descriptions  and  magnificent  lies.  While  one  party  boasted  ot 
having  obliged  the  enemy  to  retreat,  the  other  might,  with  equal 
truth  assert,  that  his  opponent  fled  in  disorder.     However  trifling  and 


unimportant  onr  fiats  before  Tunis  were,  it  was  evident  that  each 
party  claimed  the  victory  ;  and  for  this  purpose,  signals  of  exultation 
were  mutually  displayed.  Without  pretending  to  decide  who  had 
most  reason  to  congratulate  himself  on  the  result  of  his  labours,  the 
many  salutes  which  followed,  strongly  reminded  me  that  there  are 
feux  d' artifice,  as  well  as  feux  de  joiel 

During  the  few  days  we  continued  to  hover  about  this  part  of 
Africa,  it  recalled  a  thousand  recollections,  which  seemed  to  interest 
and  amuse  the  mind,  at  a  time  when  it  was  glad  to  rely  on  any  thing 
for  consolation. 

In  viewing  the  shores  of  Numidia  and  Mauritania,  the  names  of 
Dido,  Juba,  Syphax,  Jugurtha,  and  Massanissa,  passed  in  rapid  suc- 
cession over  the  imagination,  as  if  only  its  own  creation,  and  not  the 
sovereigns  of  great  countries  !  Pursuing  the  eccentric  evolutions  of 
thought,  and  looking  into  the  history  of  modern  times,  Sfax  reminded 
us  of  its  bombardment  and  destruction  by  the  Chevalier  Emo,  the 
celebrated  Venetian  admiral.  A  sight  of  Tunis  and  the  Goletta,  was 
calculated  to  call  forth  mingled  sentiments  of  pity  and  admiration  :  on 
the  one  hand,  admiration  for  the  heroic  exertions  of  Charles  the  Fifth  ; 
who,  even  in  a  comparatively  barbarous  age,  saw  the  impolicy  of  sufler- 
ing  lawlesshordes  of  pirates  to  plunder  Europe,  and  arrest  the  progress 
of  civilization  ;  of  pity,  for  the  melancholy  and  premature  fate  which 
attended  Saint  Louis,  whose  pious,  though  sometimes  ill-directed  exer- 
tions, were,  notwithstanding,  thought  worthy  of  canonization.  Byrsa 
too,  once  the  illustrious  Carthage,  was  before  our  eyes  !  producing  a 
melancholy  reflection  upon  the  fleeting  instability  of  earthly  gran- 
deur. Here  was  an  end  to  all  human  distinctions  and  worldly  priority. 
Forgetting  the  errors  of  antiquity,  our  admiration  was  equally  divided 
between  the  virtuous  inflexibility  of  Regulus  in  chains,  and  the  stern 
genius  of  Hannibal,  yielding  to  the  superior  destinies  of  Rome. 

In  another  quarter  we  pictured  to  ourselves  the  magnanimous 
Agathocles  of  Syracuse,  who  landing  on  the  Carthaginian  territory, 
burnt  his  fleet,  so  as  to  leave  his  troops  no  alternative  between  death 
and  victory.     Farther  on  we  beheld  his  glorious  successor,  whose  price 

I  2 

(iO  RUINS    OF    CARTilAGE. 

of  victory  was  the  abolition  of  human  sacrifices  :  here  was  the  ancient 
Ades,  celebrated  by  the  defeat  of  the  Pnnic  fleet  ;  there  the  Acque 
Calide,  near  which  the  ships  of  Octavius  were  wrecked.  The  bay  of 
Adrametum,  memorable  for  having  afforded  shelter  to  the  conqueroi 
of  Pharsalia  ;  and  the  impetuous  stream  in  which  the  intrepid  Mas- 
sanissa  found  a  grave  !  Nor  was  that  inexorable  scourge  of  Africa, 
the  sanguinary  Genserie,  whose  path  was  marked  by  blood  and  rapine, 
forgotten  ;  or  the  persecuted  Belisarius,  who,  on  the  shore  before  us, 
shook  the  empire  of  Vandalism.  Whether,  in  fact,  we  contemplated  the 
dignified  heroism  of  Asdrubal's  wife,  burying  herself  and  children  in 
the  flames  ;  or  the  maternal  piety  and  generous  nature  of  the  tender 
Sophonisba  :  all  on  this  gloomy  shore,  once  the  region  of  incense  and  of 
myrrh,  and  which  in  its  days  of  triumph,  was  justly  considered  the  most 
prolific  garden  of  the  universe  ;  tended  to  excite  reflection,  and  inspire 
melancholy.  It  is  true,  the  purity  of  its  sky,  and  fecundity  of  soil  is  the 
same  :  but,  alas  !  the  iron  hand  of  despotism  has  blasted  all  with  steri- 
lity and  death  !  What,  indeed,  cannot  a  government  eftect,  either  to 
create  or  destroy  t  Nearly  the  whole  of  our  course  along  this  part 
of  Africa,  presented  one  continued  scene  of  ruin  and  devastation,  a 
wide  field  of  sorrowful  remembrance.  We  love  to  dwell  on  the  scat- 
tered vestiges  of  ancient  monuments,  upon  which  the  hand  of  time 
is  so  deeply  engraven  ;  and  an  immense  space,  is,  as  it  were,  united  in 
one  small  point.  Seated  on  the  ruins  of  time,  we  interrogate  past  ages  : 
and  in  contemplating,  with  a  sublime  hon-or,  those  spots,  the  solitary 
proofs  of  man's  nothingness,  we  recognize,  with  fear  and  trembling, 
the  sad  instability  of  all  human  affairs. 

Giace  l'alta  Cartago  ;  appena  i  segni 

Dell'  alte  sue  ruine  il  lido  serba. 

Muoiono  le  città,  muoiono  i  regni  : 

Copre  i  fasti  e  le  pompe  arena  ederba  : 

E  l'uom  d'esser  mortai  par  che  si  sdegni 

O  nostra  mente  cupida  e  superba  !* 

*  V.  Gerusalemme  Liberata,  Cant.  xv.  thus  imitated  by  Mr.  Hoole  : 
Now  to  the  knights  the  pilot  damsel  shew'd 
The  spot  where  once  imperial  Carthage  stood. 

ARRIVAL    OFF    BONA.  61 

But,  as  Chateaubriand  very  properly  remarks,  the  ruins  of  Africa 
possess  a  character  altogether  peculiar  to  themselves,  filling  the  mind 
with  the  most  gloomy  images,  without  one  consolatory  reflection  ;  the 
natural  consequence  of  their  being  rather  the  result  of  barbarous  vio- 
lence and  brutal  rage,  than  the  more  slow  and  solemn  operation  of 
time.  The  convulsions  which  have  desolated  this  beautiful  region,  have 
been  infinitely  more  terrible,  than  the  effects  produced  in  other  coun- 
tries by  the  long  course  of  ages  :  they  present  a  dreary  void,  unaccom- 
panied by  any  regenerating  power.  Time,  lending  his  scythe  to  death, 
saw  him  in  an  instant,  destroy  that,  which  might  otherwise  have 
been  preserved  for  many  centuries  ;  and  which  it  required  ages  of 
human  labour  to  create  :  all  is  ruin  in  this  world,  but  the  greatest 
destroyer  is  man  ! 

The  winds  not  being  altogether  favorable  for  our  getting  to 
Algiers,  we  put  into  Bona  ;  and  the  anchors  were  scarcely  down,  when 
the  Turkish  soldiers,  armed  from  head  to  foot,  rushed  on  shore  like  a 
torrent,  and,  as  if  in  an  enemy's  country,  began  to  plunder  the  inha- 
bitants without  mercy  ;  imitating  the  well  known  troops  of  organized 
banditti,  who  ravaged  Italy  during  the  fifteenth  century.  Strange  to 
reflect  !  The  same  religion  and  government  is,  in  this  country,  no  pro- 
tection to  the  people,  when  it  suits  the  convenience  of  the  licentious 
soldiery  to  rob  and  pillage.  We  observed  from  on  board,  several  of  the 
natives  seeking  safety  in  flight,  and  carrying  oft"  as  many  valuables 
as  they  could  from  the  apparently  general  plunders  of  the  town. 

Bona  is  generally  thought  to  be  the  Hippo  Regius  of  antiquity, 
of  which  St.  Augustine  was  the  bishop  ;  it  was  a  royal  city  of 
Numidia,  which,  in  the  manner  of  France,  under  Buonaparte,  had 
also  its  cities  of  the  first,  second,  and  third  order.     Dr.   Shaw  is. 

Ill-fated  Carthage  I  Scarce,  amidst  the  plains, 

A  trace  of  ail  her  ruin'd  pomp  remains  ! 

Proud  cities  vanish,  states  and  realms  decay, 

The  world's  unstable  glories  fade  away  ! 

Yet  mortals  dare  of  certain  fate  complain  ; 

O  impious  folly  of  presuming  man  !  Ed. 


however,  of  opinion,  tliat  Hippo  was  situated  a  mile  to  the  south- 
ward of  Bona.  The  inhabitants  of  this  place,  during  the  middle 
ages,  carried  on  an  extensive  trade  in  figs,  calling  them  after  their 
favourite  saint.  Near  the  town,  some  ruins  are  shewn  to  this  day, 
which  are  said  to  have  formed  a  part  of  the  convent  in  which  he 
resided.  The  chief  vestiges  of  Roman  antiquity  seen  at  this  place, 
consist  of  some  arcades,  with  double  roofs,  in  which  the  bricks 
are  of  a  very  large  size,  most  probably  cisterns  ;  a  mosaic  pavement, 
and  tracks  of  a  road  like  the  Appian  way.* 

The  river  Seibouse,  which  joins  the  sea  at  Bona,  is  choked  up 
at  its  entrance  with  sand,  and  consecjuently  not  capable  of  admitting 
large  vessels  ;  the  roadstead  is  rather  open,  and  exposed  to  northerly 
winds.  Its  principal  defence  consists  of  a  strong  fort  that  commands 
the  town,  and  the  conquest  of  which,  together  with  Bona  itself,  formed 
a  memorable  event  in  the  more  enterprizing  days  of  the  Florentine 
history,  when  the  knights  of  San  Stefano  carried  the  terror  of  our 
arms  all  over  the  Mediten-anean,  but  more  particularly  into  Africa. 
To  what  a  source  of  bitter  reflection  did  not  this  visit  to  Bona  lead  in 
our  anxious  thoughts  !  Our  brave  ancestors  had  concjuered  it,  and 
we  were  brought  there  as  slaves  !  In  these  enlightened  days,  the 
insignificant  states  of  Tripoly,  Tunis,  and  Algiers,  insulted,  with 
impunity,  every  power  in  Europe  ;  capturing  the  ships  of  some,  and 
condemning  the  crews  to  slavery.  While,  in  former  times,  the  galleys 
of  Tuscany  were  more  than  a  match  for  them,  wresting  the  Balearic 

*  On  the  subject  of  Bona  Dr.  Shaw  observes,  that  besides  the  capacious  road  before 
it  to  the  east,  "  it  had  formerly  a  convenient  little  port  under  its  very  walls  to  the  south- 
ward ;  but  by  the  constant  discharge  of  ballast  into  the  one,  and  neglect  of  cleansing  the 
other,  both  are  daily  rendered  less  safe  and  commodious." — A  true  picture  of  the  preser- 
vative virtues  of  a  Barbary  government  I  In  another  place  he  adds,  "Bona  has  the 
advantage  of  being  finely  situated  both  for  commerce  and  hunting  ;  it  enjoys  an  healthful 
air,  and  affords  so  fine  a  prospect,  that  the  eye  takes  in  at  one  view  the  sea,  a  spacious 
roadstead,  several  mountains  covered  with  trees,  and  plains  finely  watered  :  so  that  by 
repairing  the  old  ruins,  and  introducing  fresh  water  into  the  town,  it  might  be  rendered 
one  of  the  most  delightful  and  flourishing  places  in  Barbary.''  Vide  Shaw's  Travel!?. — £d. 


islands  from  their  liauds,  and  vindicating-  past  injuries,  by  the  most 
brilliant  achievements  gained  over  Musetto,  king  of  the  Saracens, 
whom  they  dispossessed  of  Sardinia. 

The  situation  of  Bona,  its  spacious  bay,  and  easy  communication 
with  the  interior,  would,  under  a  different  order  of  things,  make  it 
one  of  the  tirst  commercial  eujporiums  in  Africa.  Nor  is  it  unimportant 
to  observe,  that,  as  an  eligible  place  for  disembarking  troops  and 
artillery,  or,  after  they  are  on  shore,  enabling  them  to  commence 
immediate  operations,  this  point  is  hardly  equalled  by  any  other  on 
the  whole  continent.  The  more  ample  consideration  of  this  important 
question,  will  be  discussed  in  another  part  of  the  work. 



Arrival  in  Algiers. — Landing. — Appearance  before  the  Heads  of  the  Govern- 
ment.— Prison  of  the  Slaves, — First  Day  in  Slavery. —  The  Employment. — 
Hours  of  Repose. — Public  Works. — Liberation.  —Arrival  at  the  British  Con- 
sulate's.— Lost  Riches. — Still  greater  Losses. — Consolations. —  Unfortunate 
Companions. — Mode  of  living  at  Algiers. 

Having  closed  the  work  of  plunder,  and  procured  some  refresh- 
ments, not  the  least  agreeable  part  of  the  visit,  to  us  ;  the  squadron 
again  set  sail,  and,  steering  along  the  coast  of  Mauritania,  we  had 
an  opportunity^  of  observing  those  objects,  so  happily  described  b\ 
Carlo  and  Ubaldo,  when  sent  to  draw  Rinaldo  from  his  inglorious 

At  length  several  white  specks  began  to  rise  in  the  western  hori- 
zon, and  a  fine  breeze  soon  brought  us  in  sight  of  the  great  centre  of 
piracy,  so  justly  apostrophised  by  the  poet, 

Nido  Algeri  di  ladri  infame  ed  empio.* 

Algiers  forming  an  extensive  semi-circle  of  hills  rising  in  araphi- 
theatric  beauty  round  the  city,  and  many  of  them  studded  with 
country  houses,  is  exceedingly  interesting  and  picturesque  as  seen 
from  the  sea  ;  while  the  numerous  vineyards,  orange  and  olive 
groves  which  surround  the  town,  shewing  great  marks  of  industry 
and  cultivation,  does  not  bear  much  analogy  to  the  fierce  character  and 
vagrant  life  of  these  African  tyrants.  On  approaching  the  anchorage, 
a  shout  of  joy  ran  through  the  frigate,  and  marked  the  satisfaction  of 

*  Algiers  !  abode  of  robbers,  cruel  and  impious.         Tasso. 


the  barbarians,  nor  had  we  any  reason  to  be  otherwise  than  rejoiced 
at  the  idea  of  having  terminated  our  tedious  voyage,  embittered  as  it 
was  by  such  misfortunes.  So  perfectly  comparative  are  our  notions 
of  happiness,  that  the  prospect  of  landing  at  Algiers,  which,  under 
any  other  circumstances,  would  have  created  the  utmost  horror,  was, 
in  the  present  instance,  hailed  with  a  degree  of  joy  little  inferior  to 
that  experienced  by  the  first  Templers  on  seeing  Jerusalem.  Like 
the  patient,  who,  rather  than  bear  the  agony  arising  from  his 
wounds,  submits  to  a  painful  operation,  we  flattered  ourselves, 
that  the  end  of  the  cruize  would  also  be  that  of  our  sufferings.  St. 
Pierre  has  ingeniously  compared  adversity  to  the  black  mountain 
Beruber,  on  the  confines  of  the  burning  kingdom  of  Lahor  ;  the 
ascent  to  whicli  is  impeded  by  craggy  rocks  and  frightful  precipices, 
but  having  once  reached  the  summit,  the  sky  becomes  serene,  while 
the  beautiful  plains  of  Cashamere  are  seen  spreading  in  the  dis- 

No  sooner  had  the  ships  anchored,  than  pieparations  were  made 
to  land  ;  when  Rais  Hamida,  with  a  stern  voice,  inspired  no  less  by 
his  natural  ferocity,  than  a  consciousness  of  having  us  now  completely 
in  his  power,  ordered  the  Sicilian  seamen  into  the  long-boat, 
under  charge  of  the  Aga  ;  while  the  passengers  were  destined  to 
grace  his  own  splendid  triumph.  In  this  crisis,  at  which  another 
important  change  was  about  to  be  effected  in  our  situation,  I  could  not 
help  recalling  to  mind,  those  terrible  lines  inscribed  over  the  Inferno, 

Per  me  si  va  nella  città  dolente  : 

Per  me  si  va  neil'  eterno  dolore  : 

Per  me  si  va  fra  la  perduta  gente  !  * 

which  Rais  Hamida  seemed  to  repeat  on  desiring  us  to  follow  him 

*  Inferno,  Canto  III.  thus  most  inadequately  rendered  into  English: 
Thro'  me  the  newly  damn'd  for  ever  fleet, 
in  ceaseless  shoals  to  Pain's  eternal  seat;'  roe  they  march,  and  join  the  torturati  crew.         B-jyd. 


into  the  pinnace,  appointed  to  convey  us  on  shore;  towards  which  we 
now  directed  our  course,  followed  by  our  mournful  companions  in  the 
Aga's  charge.  On  the  Rais's  landing,  he  immediately  ordered  us  to 
form  a  procession  in  his  rear,  and  then  moved  on,  with  as  much  self- 
importance,  as  Sesostris  with  his  four  rebellious  kings,  or  the  ferocious 
Timur,  conducting  Bajazet  in  his  iron  cage. 

An  immense  concourse  had  collected  on  the  beach,  to  welcome 
with  acclamations  the  triumphant  return  of  the  pirates:  but  we  were 
neither  plundered  nor  insulted,  a  treatment  which  many  Christian 
slaves  are  said  to  have  met  with,  on  disembarking  at  this  inhospitable 

In  the  manner  of  the  Roman  ovation,  we  made  a  long  circuit,  to 
arrive  at  the  palace  destined  for  holding  examinations  of  captives,  and 
finally  condemning  their  prizes.  The  Rais  entered  the  building,  while 
we  remained  outside  of  the  door  until  called  for.  "  What  were  you  doing 
underthatlargeheapof  ruins ''"was  asked  of  the  Duchessof  Popoli,  who 
remained  three  days  alone  under  the  arch  of  a  palace  destroyed  in  the 
great  earthquake  of  Calabria.     "  I  waited,"  replied  her  grace. 

A  large  awning  being  extended  in  front  of  the  house,  the  scene 
shortly  opened,  exhibiting  the  members  of  the  regency,  in  barbarous 
pomp  and  horrid  majesty,  seated  before  us  ;  accompanied  by  the 
ulemas,  or  expounders  of  the  law  and  principal  agas  of  the  divan. 
We  were  then,  without  farther  ceremony  or  preamble,  asked  for  our 
papers,  which  were  duly  examined  ;  nor  was  that  canting  gravity 
wanting  on  this  occasion,  which  is  usually  assumed  to  justify  acts  of 
rapine  and  plunder.  They  were  then  presented  to  the  English  consul, 
whose  presence  is  always  required  on  these  examinations,  to  verify  any 
claim  he  may  have  to  make.  This  gentleman  soon  saw  the  insuffici- 
ency of  our  documents  ;  but,  stimulated  by  the  goodness  of  his  heart, 
and  sentiments  of  pity  for  persons  in  our  unhappy  condition,  he  made 
every  possible  exertion  to  extricate  us  from  the  appalling  dilenima 
with  which  we  were  now  threatened.  The  circumstance  of  some  of 
the  party  being  natives  of  a  country  united  to  the  dominion  of  France, 


did  not  restrain  the  consul's  generous  efforts:  we  were  unfortunate, 
and  that  was  sufficient  to  ensure  the  protection  of  an  Englishman. 
But  Rais  Hamida  boldly  sustained  the  remorseless  laws  of  piracy  : 
drawing  the  finest  distinctions  imaginable  between  domiciliation  and 
nationality,  he  proved  himself  a  most  able  jurisconsult,  according,  at 
least,  to  the  African  code  of  public  laws. 

"  A  good  prize  !  Prisoners  I  Slaves  !"  was  now  murmured  through 
the  council,  and  soon  communicated  to  the  crowd  assembled  without; 
which,  by  its  cries  and  vociferation,  seemed  to  demand  such  a  deci- 
sion. The  British  consul  then  formally  demanded  the  English  lady  and 
her  two  children  ;  upon  this  being  accorded,  the  Chevalier  Rossi,  her 
husband,  advanced  a  few  steps,  and  with  dignified  courage,  supported 
his  claim  to  liberation,  on  the  principle  of  having  married  an  English 
woman,  and  of  also  being  the  father  of  two  British  subjects,  his  chil- 
dren :  this  application  being  successful,  he  soon  rejoined  his  anxious 
wife  and  children.  Another  attempt  was  now  made  in  favor  of  usali 
by  the  consul,  but  without  effect:  this  was  followed  by  a  cry  in  the 
hall  of  Schiavi!  Schiavi!  "  slaves,  slaves;"  which  horrible  word  was 
echoed  by  the  multittide.  The  members  of  the  council  then  rose,  and, 
on  the  assembly's  being  dissolved,  the  consul  and  his  attendants, 
together  with  the  Chevalier  Rossi  and  family  departed  ;  leaving  us  the 
tlevoted  victims  of  slavery,  in  a  state  of  immoveable  insensibility,  as 
«ne  who  scarcely  hears  the  thunder,  when  he  is  enveloped  by  the 
lurid  glare  of  its  lightning. 

Before  we  had  recovered  from  our  stupor,  we  were  led  off  under 
Oie  Grande  Scrivano  and  Guardian  JSasha,  who  conducted  us 
over  a  considerable  part  of  the  city,  accompanied  by  a  great  number 
4jf  spectators.  It  being  Friday,  the  Moorish  sabbath,  hundreds  of 
the  infidels,  in  coming  from  the  mosques,  were  soon  attracted  in 
every  direction,  to  enjoy  this  new  spectacle  of  degraded  Christi- 

Anived  at  Pascialick,  or  palace  of  the  Pasha,  inhabited  at 
present  by  theDey;  the  first  objects  that  struck  our  eyes  were  six 
K  2 


bleeding  heads  ranged  along  before  the  entrance  !  I  !  And  as  if  this 
dreadful  sight  was  not  sufficient  of  itself,  to  harrow  up  the  soul,  it 
was  still  farther  aggravated,  by  the  necessity  of  our  stepping 
over  them,  in  order  to  pass  into  the  court.  They  were  the 
heads  of  some  turbulent  agas,  who  had  dared  to  murmur  against 
the  Dey's  authority.  Our  fears  naturally  represented  them,  as 
having  been  severed  from  the  bodies  of  Christians,  and  purposely 
placed  there,  to  terrify  the  new  inmates  of  this  fatal  region.  A 
dead  silence  reigned  within  the  Avails  of  the  building,  in  which 
suspicion  seemed  to  have  made  her  abode  ;  while  fear  was  depicted 
in  every  face.  Being  ordered  to  range  ourselves  before  the  Dey's 
window,  to  feast  the  despot's  eyes,  he  soon  approached,  looked 
at  us  with  a  mingled  smile  of  exultation  and  contempt,  then  making 
a  sign  with  his  hand,  we  were  ordered  to  depart;  and  after  a  third 
circuit  of  the  town,  arrived  before  a  large  dark  looking  building,  on 
entering  which,  we  stumbled,  as  if  by  an  involuntary  impulse.  It 
was  the  great  Bagno,  or  house  of  reception  for  Christian  slaves. 
Hence  one  of  its  pompous  titles  Bajios  os  Esclavos,  which,  without 
gilding  the  pill  quite  so  much,  may  be  plainly  rendered  by  the  simple 
word  prison.  Every  fibre  trembled,  and  our  limbs  tottered  under  us, 
as  we  traversed  the  horrid  receptacle.  The  first  words  which  escaped 
the  keeper  after  our  entrance  were,  "  whoever  is  brought  into  this 
house  becomes  a  slave."  He  might  well  have  added. 
Lasciate  ogni  speranza,  voi,  che  'ntrate  !* 
In  passing  through  the  dark  and  filthy  court  yard,  we  were 
surrounded  by  a  multitude  of  slaves,  bearing  about  them  all  the 
signs  of  abandoned  sufferers.  They  were  ragged,  lank,  and  haggard, 
with  the  head  drooping,  eyes  sunk  and  distorted,  cheeks  imprinted 
by  the  furrows  of  protracted  wretchedness,  which  seemed  to  have 
withered  the  soul,    and  by  destroying  the  finer   impulses  of  their 

*  Ye  heirs  of  hell, 

Here  bid  at  once  your  litrg'ring  hopes  farewell.  Boyd. 

FIRST  day's  treatment.  ■69 

nature,  left  no  trace  of  pity  for  the  sufferings  of  othei-s  :  so  that  we 
passed  without  the  slightest  manifestation  of  that  sympathy  so  natu- 
rally expected  in  such  a  situation.  Exhausted  by  long  confinement, 
and  wrapt  up  in  a  sense  of  their  own  melancholy  fate,  our  appearance 
was  viewed  with  a  stupid  indifference  unaccompanied  by  any  fellow 
feeling.  During  the  few  intervals,  unoccupied  in  the  public  works, 
they  remained  shut  up,  wandering  about  like  pallid  spectres  in  this 
house  of  darkness  and  of  sorrow. 

Our  ascent  up  the  prison  staircase,  was  not  unlike  that  of  u 
malefactor,  when  mounting  the  scaffold  ;  but,  as  some  indulgence  is 
generally  granted  to  condemned  criminals,  the  keeper  treated  us 
during  the  first  day  with  particular  attention  and  respect  ;  inviting 
us  into  bis  own  apartment,  and  insisting  that  we  should  partake  of 
his  dinner,  thus  making  up  for  the  anxiety  and  fasting  of  the  preced- 
ing day.  There  were  at  the  table,  besides  myself  and  fellow  passen- 
gers, three  slaves,  who  had  been  many  years  in  captivity,  and  were 
persons  of  birth  and  education.  Amongst  the  rest,  was  Signor  Artemate 
of  Trieste,  who  possessed  a  mind  adorned  by  education,  and  a  character 
formed  by  long  reflection  and  adversity  ;  with  the  truest  ingredients  of 
friendship.  In  reciprocal  misfortune,  the  consoling  voice  was 
not  long  silent.  Like  Attilius  Regulus,  we  also  were  in  servitude,  on 
that  very  shore,  which  saw  the  Roman  hero  perish  for  his  country  ; 
happily,  if  like  him,  we  could  evince  the  same  intrepidity  of  soul  and 
firmness  of  character.* 

*  Few  captains  of  antiquity  have  excited  greater  admiration  araocgst  the  moderns 
than  Regulus,  and  none  more  deservedly.  The  concluding  part  of  his  address  to  the  senate, 
is  the  best  possible  eulogium  on  the  memory  of  this  truly  great  man,  while  it  conveys  a 
grand  lesson  to  the  patriots  of  every  age  and  country.  I  give  it  in  the  eloquent  language 
of  Chateaubriand.  "  Je  n'ignore  point  le  sort  qui  m'attend  ;  mais  un  crime  flétriroit  mon 
ame  ;  la  douleur  ne  brisera  que  mon  corps.  D'ailleurs  il  n'est  point  de  maux  pour  celui 
qui  les  salt  soufFrir  :  s'ils  passent  les  forces  de  la  nature,  la  mort  nous  en  délivre.  Peres 
consents,  cessez  de  me  plaindre  :  j'ai  dispose  de  moi,  et  rien  ne  me  pourra  faire  changer 
de  sentiment.  Je  retourne  à  Carthage  ;  je  fais  mon  devoir  et  je  laisse  faire  aux  dieux." — 
Itinéraire  de  Paria  à  Jenasalem,  Tome  ii.  p.  245. — Ed. 


The  lollowing  day  was  occupied  in  communicating  with  the 
English  consul  and  other  friends  in  the  city,  together  with  the  prin- 
cipal Jews,  who  were  likely  to  be  most  useful  in  forwarding  the  work 
of  liberation.  For  my  own  part,  I  began  to  view  things  in  a  some- 
what more  favourable  light:  my  excellent  friends,  the  Chevalier 
and  Madame  Rossi,  warmly  interested  themselves  with  the  consul  in 
my  behalf;  while  that  worthy  and  philanthropic  minister  did  every 
thing  in  his  power  to  extricate  me  from  the  horrid  situation  in  which 
I  was  placed.  It  was  whispered  at  the  Baglio,  that  I  had  been  for- 
mally demanded  from  the  ministers  of  his  excellency  the  Dey  ;  but 
that  they  had  refused,  there  being  only  one  amongst  the  number, 
who  would  condescend  to  liberate  me,  and  that  at  the  moderate  con- 
dition of  my  paying  down  three  thousand  sequins  in  gold  ;A  and  this 
because  the  government  knew  I  was  a  great  ;7oe«  wallowing  in  riches! 
Poetry  and  riches  is  indeed  a  strange  association  of  ideas.  Little  did 
my  new  masters  know  the  value  of  poets  in  Europe.  It  was  further 
said,  that  they  were  not  particularly  anxious  to  release  me  upon  any 
terms,  it  being  his  excellency's  intention  to  avail  himself  of  my  won- 
deiful  talents  in  affairs  of  great  importance.  What  on  earth  could 
he  have  done  with  me  %  Poet  laureat  ;  virtuoso  of  the  bed-chamber, 
or  musician  extraordinary,  to  his  highness  the  Pasha  !  I  doubt  whether 
either  of  these  brilliant  appointments  would  have  turned  my  brain  ; 
for  to  me,  chains  are  not  the  more  acceptable  for  being  made  of  gold. 

While  busied  in  these  various  speculations,  the  Guardian  Basha, 
or  principal  keeper,  took  me  by  the  ann,  ana  commenced  a  grave 
sermon  on  the  flattering  prospects  that  seemed  to  await  me.  "  Surely," 
said  he,  "  your  friends  were  bom  before  you,  and  fortune  has  now 
evidently  taken  you  under  her  peculiar  protection,  arriving  a  slave  in 
Algiers,  and  the  next  day  running  the  risk  of  obtaining  a  post,  to  which 
others  do  not  arrive  in  a  hundred  years."  While  on  this  favourite 
strain  I  every  moment  expected  to  be  compared  to  the  fortunate  Jo- 

*  About  £1600. 

PROPOSAL    FROM    THE    DEV.  71 

seph,  whose  advancement  was  also  preceded  by  golden  dreams. 
"  But  you,"  pursued  the  Basha,  "  should  leap  for  joy."  "  And  have 
I  not,"  said  I,  "  every  reason  to  be  afflicted  I  AVhat  consolation  can 
there  be  for  him  who  is  in  chains!"  "  Weakness  of  human  nature!" 
replied  the  Basha.  "Slavery  is  the  natural  state  of  man.  All," — 
these  were  exactly  his  words, — "  all  depends  on  the  law  of  the  strong- 
est ;  on  circumstances  and  necessity .  We  are  all  the  slaves  of  cus- 
tom, of  the  passions,  of  disease,  and  of  death.  But  those  who  rise 
to  power  are  no  longer  slaves  :  and  thus  you  may  have  slaves  at 
your  nod  ;  and  by  obeying  one,  command  a  thousand.  You  have  a 
good  head,  can  speak  well,  and  are  a  great  acquisition  to  us.  When 
once  interpreter  and  secretary  to  the  Dey,  you  tvill  swim  in  gold, 
become  the  lamp  of  knowledge,  and  possess  gardens  of  voluptuous- 
ness :  you  ivill  be  a  great  personage,  and  all  will  bow  before 
you."^  "  Too  much  honor  I  too  much  honor  !"  I  answered  :  "  I  do 
not  merit  it.  But  l)y  what  .accident  has  the  Dey  condescended  to  cast 
his  eyes  on  meV  "  Why,"  said  he,  "it  was  always  customary  for 
the  Pacha  to  have  a  slave  for  his  secretary  :  one  of  these  infidel  dogs 
having  betrayed  his  trust,  the  Dey  had  his  head  struck  off.  Another 
came,  but  this  rogue  used  to  carry  news  to  the  European  consuls,  and 
he  was  condemned  to  die  under  the  bastinado.  A  Jew  was  next 
taken  into  the  service  of  his  highness,  but  as  he  only  thought  of  mak- 
ing money,  his  treasures  were  seized  and  himself  burnt.  A  Moor  and 
Arab  were  successively  tried  without  effect,  and  after  being  removed 
had  their  heads  taken  off,  to  avoid  telling  tales.  The  Dey  having 
once  more  determined  to  try  a  Christian,  you  are  the  happy  man  upon 
whom  he  has  fixed  his  choice."  "  But  tell  me,  for  curiosity's  sake," 
said  I,  "  how  long  did  the  two  Christians,  Jew,  Moor,  and  Arab 
remain  in  office!"  "Some  continued  three,  six,  and  ten  months; 
but  none  reached  a  year's  servitude  ;  all  had  a  short  life  and  a  merry 

*  Would  to  Heaven  that  the  sad  reality  of  the  Guardian  Basha's  dcetriae  did  tot 
extend  beyond  Algiers. — Ed. 

72  PROPOSAL    FROM    THE    DEV. 

one/'  was  the  answer.  "The  honors,"  said  I  then,  "  would  be  very 
acceptable,  but  involved,  I  apprehended,  too  much  responsibility. 
A  thousand  thanks,  therefore,  for  the  interest  you  so  kindly  take  in 
my  advancement;  but  I  fear  pachas  are  too  easily  disgusted  with 
their  followers,  and  begin  to  play  the  tyrant  rather  early.  Besides,  I 
am  not  like  the  cardinal  who  exclaimed, 

Vorrei  sentermi  dire 
Segretario  di  stato,  e  poi  morire." 

"Name  me  but  a  secretary  of  state,  and  then  let  me  die!"  "  M. 
le  Marquis^"  said  a  young  gentleman  to  the  minister  d'Argenson, 
who  was  appointed  to  a  regiment  in  the  field  :  "  I  wish  for  life  rather 
than  immortality  !" 

After  the  above  conversations,  I  naturally  began  to  reflect  on 
the  good  fortune  which  these  folks  were  desirous  of  heaping  on 
me  ;  and,  if  left  to  my  own  ideas  in  the  choice  of  a  place,  I  deter- 
mined it  should  be  like  that  of  the  disappointed  candidate  for  a 
public  employment  in  London  ;  who,  after  many  fruitless  applica- 
tions, one  day  called  on  his  expected  patron,  and  told  him  he  had  at 
length  procured  one;  when,  being  very  civilly  congratulated  on  his 
success,  the  patron  ventured  to  ask  what  his  new  post  might  be.  He 
satisfied  the  demand,  by  rejoining  that  it  was  a  place  in  the  Shrews- 
bury coach,  which  should,  that  very  night,  convey  him  from  a  town^ 
where  he  was  heartily  tired  of  listening  to  the  flattering  and  unmean- 
ing promises  of  patrons.* 

*  The  Abbe  Tanzini,  a  Florentine,  and  a  man  of  considerable  genius,  but  whose  man- 
ners were  rather  uncouth,  finding  himself  once  in  the  anti-chamber  of  a  prince,  where  two 
other  persons  magnificently  dressed  were  also  in  waiting,  by  the  way  of  amusing  themselves 
at  the  Abbe's  expence,  and  rather  overstepping  the  mark  by  taking  a  man  in  his  simple 
garb  for  a  fool  :  one  of  the  gentlemen  asked  with  a  simper  who  he  was?  "  Tell  me  who 
you  are  first,"  said  the  priest.  "  Why,"  replied  he,  "I  am  a  gentleman  who  has  the 
honor  of  serving  his  excellency  the  prince  as  secretary."  "  And  I,"  observed  his  compa- 
nion, "  am  the  Signor  N ,  who  has  also  the  honor  of  being  the  prince's  agent  gene- 
ral." "  And  I,"  said  Tanzini,  "  am  the  Abate  Tanzini,  who  has  the  honor  of  not  serving 
under  any  one  !" 


While  thus  occupied  in  conversing  with  tlie  Guardian  Basha, 
during  M'hich,  passing  to  and  fro,  amongst  the  dark  corridors,  where 
the  victims  of  servitude  lay  huddled  in  groupes,  stretched  along  the 
bare  earth,  with  nothing  but  a  little  covering  of  straw,  the  hour  of 
supper  arrived  preparatory  to  that  of  repose.  A  short  time  before  the 
English  vice-consul,  who  had  kindly  recommended  us  to  the  Grande 
Scrivano  and  Guardian  Basha,  came  to  inform  me  of  the  steps  which 
had  been  taken  by  his  generous  principal  in  my  favour,  with  the  Dey  ; 
and  how,  even  at  that  late  hour,  he  had  taken  the  ti'ouble  of  ascend- 
ing the  stairs  of  the  Pascialick.  On  the  other  hand,  my  friend,  the 
,  Grande  Scrivano,  determined  to  destroy  the  slight  rays  of  hope  shed 
by  the  vice-consul's  visits,  informed  me,  that  I  might  now  consider  my 
fate  as  finally  decided  ;  for  although  there  was,  in  the  first  instance, 
a  possibility  of  the  consul's  eloquence  and  credit  prevailing  with  his  mas- 
ter, yet,  the  negative  once  given,  my  future  doom  became  irrevocable  ; 
and  that,  even  the  exertions  made  for  my  liberation,  when  inisuccess- 
ful,  could  not  fail  to  render  the  case  more  hopeless.  As  may  be  easily 
conceived,  I  passed  a  sleepless  night,  embittered  by  the  most  painful 
apprehensions.  Although  the  scrivano  had  given  up  his  bed  and  room, 
it  did  not  facilitate  my  disposition  to  repose.  In  this  trying  per- 
plexity, the  maxims  of  the  wise  and  good,  did  not  altogether  abandon 
me  ;  nor  could  I  entirely  forget  their  influence  in  making  us  indepen- 
dent of  adversity.  Dionysius  the  younger,  being  asked  what  philosophy 
had  taught  him,  replied,  "  to  meet  without  surprize  the  vicissitudes 
of  fortune,  and  support  myself  under  them  without  complaining!" 
*'  When,"  said  Calisthenes,  "  I  find  myself  in  a  situation  that  requires 
courage  and  resolution,  I  feel  that  I  am  at  my  post.  If  the  gods 
had  only  placed  me  on  the  earth,  to  lead  a  life  of  effeminacy  and  ease,  I 
should  have  considered  greatness  of  mind  and  immortality,  an  una- 
vailing present."  It  has  been  truly  said  by  a  poet,  that  though  we 
cannot  command  success,  we  may  do  more,  we  may  deserve  it. 

Tyranny  never  sleeps,  and  even  envies  that  of  the  wretched, 
whom  it  has  bereft  of  every  other  blessing.     The  first  rays  of  light 


74  UADtJE    OF    SLAVKKY. 

bad  not  yet  dawned,  nor  had  either  men  or  animals  time  to  recover 
the  preceding-  day's  labonr,  when  the  turnkey,  witli  a  hoarse 
and  stentorian  accent,  exclaimed,  "  Vcimos  a  trabajo  cornvtos  !"^ 
"  To  work  I"  Such  was  the  flattering  expression  used  to  call 
the  slaves:  and  in  which  we  too,  had  the  unexpected  honor  of 
being  included.  I  should  also  add,  that  it  was  followed  by  the 
application  of  a  cudgel  to  the  shoulders  of  those  who  mani- 
fested the  smallest  disinclination  to  obey  the  summons,  in  double- 
quick  time.  Previous  to  our  quitting  the  prison,  the  black  Aga  made 
his  appearance,  bringing  with  him  several  iron  rings,  to  be  rivetted 
on  our  left  ancles,  tliere  to  remain  in  perpetuity,  as  a  sign  of  bondage. 
These  rings  were  slight,  but  they  were  those  of  slavery  ;  and  their 
liorrible  weight  can  only  be  known,  to  those  who  have  worn  them  I 
Having  successively  applied  them  to  the  legs  of  my  companions,  the 
Aga  put  one  into  my  hand,  saying,  that  his  excellency  the  Pacha, 
as  a  mark  of  particular  favour,  allowed  me  the  distinguished  honor  of 
putting  on  my  own  ring  !  This  is  not  unlike  the  fatal  privilege  granted 
to  the  viziers  of  the  Porte,  of  strangling  themselves  with  the  cord 
sent  for  that  purpose  by  their  master.  With  similar  feelings  did  I  put 
on  the  dreadful  emblems  of  servitude  ;  which  ignominious  operation 
was  follow  ed  by  a  cold  sweat  that  covered  my  forehead  :  my  heart 
panted  with  anguish,  my  eyes  no  longer  saw  the  surrounding  objects, 
I  attempted  to  speak,  but  could  not  articulate;  looking  downwards, 
my  eyes  caught  the  degrading  badge,  and,  witli  a  deathlike  silence 
I  yielded  to  my  fate. 

The  number  of  new  victims  of  ditierent  nations  mustered  on  this 
occasion,  and  all  captured  during  the  last  cruize  of  the  barbarians, 
amounted  to  two  hundred.  Being  ordeied  to  proceed  to  the  scene  of 
our  labours,  a  mournfiil  silence  marked  our  progress,  which  was 
attended  by  guards  both  in  front  and  rear,  armed  with  whips,  frequently 

*  A  translation  of  the  last  word  in  this  sentence,  would,  no  doubt,  be  deemed  too 
delicate  for  English  ears  :  the  reader  if,  therefore,  referred  to  his  Kalian  dictionary.— i'rf. 


repeating:  A  trahujo  cormitos;  can  d'  infidel  a  frabnjo ;  "To 
work  !  Dog'  of  a  Christian,  to  work  !"  Thus  escorted,  we  arrived  at 
tlie  public  ovens,  when  two  rusks  of  black  bread  were  thrown  to  each 
of  us,  as  if  to  mere  dogs.  I  observed,  that  the  old  captives,  who  had 
arrived  on  the  ground  before  our  party,  greedily  snatched  them  up, 
and  soon  dispatched  both  with  a  frightful  avidity.  Arrived  at  the 
great  hall  of  the  marine,  we  found  seated  there,  in  all  the  pride  of 
tyrannic  power,  the  various  members  of  the  executive  government, 
including  the  agas  of  militia,  the  grand  a<lmiral,  first  raisof  the  squa- 
dron, the  cadi,  mufti,  ulemas,  and  judges  according  to  the  Koran.  We 
were  then  ranged  along  in  regular  succession,  selected,  numbered,  and 
looked  at  with  particular  attention  ;  as  practiced  at  the  slave  markets, 
formerly  held  in  Jamaica.*  With  our  eyes  fixed  on  the  assembly,  and 
beating  hearts,  a  profound  silence  reigned  through  the  hall,  when  it 
was  broken  by  the  minister  of  marine,  first  secretary  of  state,  calling 
out  my  name,  I  was  then  ordered  to  advance.  On  obeying,  various 
interrogatories  were  put  to  me,  relative  to  my  occupations  in  England, 
and  other  relations  with  that  country.  Having  answered  them  in  the 
best  way  I  could,  the  minister  pronounced  the  talismanic  words.  Ti 
star  franco!  "  You  are  free."  We  are  told  the  most  agreeable  toners 
heard  by  human  ears,  are  those  of  well  earned  praise;  the  mopt 
grateful  sounds  those  expressed  by  a  beloved  object.  No!  The 
sweetest  voice  which  can  possibly  vibrate  through  the  heart  of  man, 
is  that  which  restores  him  to  liberty!  To  form  an  adequate  idea  of 
what  I  felt,  on  this  unforeseen,  and  happy  change  of  circumstances,  it 
will  be  necessary  for  the  reader  to  conceive  a  victim  with  the  bandage 
on  his  eyes,  and  fatal  axe  uplifted,  whose  ears  are  suddenly  astounded 
with  accents  of  grace  and  mercy! 

A  case  like  mine  was  absolutely  unique  in  the  annals  of  Algiers; 
there  being  no  example  of  a  slave's  liberation  so  immediately  after 
his  captivity  without  ransom  :   the  decrees  of  those  barbarians  being 

^''-  Out,  daraoed  spot  !     Out,  I  say! 
h  2 


those  of  inexorable  fatality.  A  soldier  was  ordered  to  knock  off  lay 
irons:  this  done,  he,  in  his  turn,  desired  me  to  go  and  thank  the 
minister  ;  who,  on  addressing  him,  shook  me  by  the  hand,  adding 
many  expressions  of  civility  ;  and  finally,  ordered  the  dragoman  to 
conduct  me  to  the  house  of  his  Britannic  majesty's  consul.  The  first 
impulse  of  joy  had  fairly  inundated  my  heart.  When  once  more  at 
liberty,  I  could  move  my  limbs  with  some  facility.  But  the  next 
thought  was  for  my  unhappy  companions,  who,  on  the  strength  of 
my  liberation,  were  induced  to  flatter  themselves  with  the  fond  hope 
of  being  treated  in  a  like  manner.  Next  to  my  own  safety,  nothing 
on  earth  could  at  that  awful  moment  have  afforded  me  such  heartfelt 
satisfaction.  Departing  slowly  with  my  new  guide,  I  stopped 
repeatedly,  and  looking  back  with  wistful  eyes,  vainly  anticipated 
the  pleasure  of  seeing  them  follow;  but  the  order  was  already  given 
to  conduct  them  all  to  labour  ;  their  respective  occupations  were  even 
pointed  out.  I  saw  them  hanging  down  their  heads,  with  eyes 
suflused  in  tears  ;  they  advanced  a  few  steps  towards  me,  pressed  my 
hand,  sobbed  adieu,  and  disappeared! 

Arrived  at  the  British  consulate,  the  dragoman  left  me  :  soon 
after  which,  my  generous  friend,  the  Chevalier  Rossi  appeared;  when, 
as  it  will  be  readily  conceived,  our  meeting  was  a  most  agreeable 
surprize  to  both  parties.  The  recent  circumstances  would  not  admit 
of  comment  ;  but  on  such  occasions,  the  language  of  the  heart  is  more 
eloquent  than  that  of  the  tongue.  In  a  short  time  we  were  joined  by 
the  consul,  whose  countenance  beamed  all  that  serenity  which  arises 
from  the  performance  of  a  good  action;  proving  an  old  adage, 
that  virtue  is  the  best  promoter  of  the  circulating  fluid,  and  con- 
sequent tranquillity  of  mind.  The  name  of  this  worthy  minister, 
and  the  highly  important  services  which  he  rendered  me,  will  be  eter- 
nally cherished  in  my  heart.  To  the  recollection  of  this  great  act  of 
beneficence,  will  be  united  those  of  benevolence  and  kindness,  which 
form  the  characteristic  of  true  gentility,  considerably  enhancing  all 
its  favors.    It  is  impossible  for  me,  sufliciently  to  applaud  the  eminent 


qualities  of  Mr.  M*"  Donnei.  Courteous  in  his  address  and  manners, 
with  an  elevated  turn  of  thought  and  noble  sentiments,  uniting  to  the 
gentlest  demeanour,  the  dignified  pride  and  decision  of  character 
which  belongs  alone  to  merit;  to  exquisite  sensibility^,  a  mind 
full  of  acumen  to  regulate  its  movements,  and  employ  it  for  the 
most  useful  purposes  ;  to  extensive  knowledge,  great  application, 
without  which,  there  is  no  possibility  of  attaining  to  perfection,  or 
permanency  :  to  generous  inclinations,  courage,  and  activity  to  vir- 
tue, without  which,  it  may  also  be  said,  that  the  latter  is  of  no  use 
to  its  possessor  ;  Mr.  M"  Donnei  is  one  of  those  men  who  do  lionor  to 
humanity.  Pre-eminently  calculated  to  represent  the  British  govern- 
ment, and  defend  the  rights  of  the  greatest  naval  jiower  of  the  uni- 
verse, few  consuls  have  exercised  a  larger  share  of  influence  amongst 
these  barbarians  :  so  true  it  is,  that  power  is  not  alone  sufficient,  if 
not  seconded  by  talents  and  character.* 

Having  refreshed  myself  at  the  consulate,  it  was  next  recom- 
mended that  I  should  proceed  to  the  great  prize  magazine,  for  the 
recovery  of  my  effects  ;  which  were  ordered  to  be  restored  by  the 
government.  On  arriving  there,  however,  I  found  that  all  was  in- 
vaded— money,  books,  merchandize  and  clothes  !  Nothing  escaped 
the  rapacious  hands  of  the  Turks  and  Moors  ;  nor  was  there  one 
single  article  forthcoming.  This  was  indeed  a  severe  loss  :  to  have  in 
a  moment  lost  the  fruits  of  so  much  labour,  industry,  and  numerous 
privations.  Thus,  to  have  beheld  the  edifice,  formed  by  years  of 
personal  exertion,  crumbled  into  nothing;  and  that  pardonable  vanity, 
which  every  one  has  to  revisit  his  native  coimtry  with  independence, 

*  Having  devoted  a  considerable  degree  of  attention  to  the  study  of  those  qualities 
which  best  become  the  representative  of  His  Britannic  Majesty  in  foreign  countries,  it  has 
been  highly  gratifying  to  me  to  find  them  all  united  in  the  character  of  Mr.  M«  Donnei,  who 
will  have  no  reason  to  regret  his  benevolent  attentions  to  the  author:  while  it  is  most  sin- 
cerely hoped  that  a  panegyric  like  the  above,  will  not  fail  to  stimulate  the  conduct  of  all 
those  who  may  be  at  this  time,  or  any  future  period  of  our  history,  placed  iu  a  situation 
calling  forth  the  exertions  of  humanity  and  active  benevolence. — Ed. 

7»  LOSS    OF    PROPERTY. 

and  the  means  of  future  ease  ;  together  with  the  additional  pleasure 
of  being  able  to  contribute  to  the  wants  of  his  relatives  and  friends, 
iVustrated.  Behold,  in  one  fatal  moment,  all  these  gratifying  illusions 
at  an  end,  and  the  fond  dream  of  happiness  broken  !  The  effect  of 
finding  myself  thus  fallen  from  the  little  height  of  fortune,  on  which 
I  stood  before  the  day  of  captivity,  was  a  source  of  heart-breaking 
affliction,  which  made  me  doubt,  whether  I  was  yet  at  liberty.  Phi- 
losophers may  preach  up  contempt  of  riches,  and  the  virtues  of 
moderation  ;  citing  the  maxims  of  Cicero  and  Seneca,  the  verses  of 
Horace,  and  example  of  Aristides,  of  Curius  and  Cincinnatus  ;  all 
well  intended,  no  doubt,  but  not  at  all  satisfactory.  Seneca  and 
the  orator  of  Aq)ino,  who  were  so  pre-eminent  in  eulogizing  mode- 
ration and  poverty,  possessed  splendid  palaces,  and  delightful  villas  : 
and  the  poet  of  Venosa,  who  praised  abstemiousness,  did  not 
disdain  to  drink  Falernian  wine,  and  court  the  favour  of  Mecaenas 
and  Augustus.  Some  riches,  and,  as  the  French  say,  un  peu 
de  superjìu,  chose  très  nécessaire,  are  required  by  the  most  rigid 
philosophy,  not  only  to  cheer  the  heart,  but  render  it  happy  ;  that  is 
to  say,  by  affording  it  an  opportunity  of  conferring  favors;  and,  like 
tlie  Man  of  Ross,  dispensing  happiness  around  us.* 

Even  talents  themselves,  shine  more  from  being  decorated  Avith 
the  splendor  of  gold  ;  the  belles  lettres  cut  a  more  distinguished 
figure,  if  accompanied  by  good  letters  of  exchange.  How  is  it  pos- 
sible to  develope  the  extent  of  talent,  and  force  of  genius,  if  both 
are  oppressed  with  a  constant  recurrence  to  a  man's  humbled  con- 
dition I     To  the  necessity  of  providing  for  his  daily  subsistence  ! 

Ah  !  who  can  tell  how  hard  it  is  to  climb 

The  steep  where  Fame's  proud  temple  shines  afar  ; 

*  Pope's  inimitable  pen  was  never  better  employed  than  in  immortalizing  the  Man  of 
Ross,  and  rendering  his  real  virtues  worthy  of  future  imitation.  Such  are  the  men  who 
ought  to  live  in  the  recollection  of  posterity,  and  be  eternally  commemorated  in  poetic 
song,  in  opposition  to  heroes,  and  devastators,  who,  like  the  lightning  fulminate  mankind, 
and  like  that  phenomenon,  leave  only  traces  of  darkness  behind  them. 

LOS?!    OF    MANUSCRIPTS.  79 

A  h  1  who  can  tell  how  many  a  soul  sublime 

Has  felt  the  influence  of  malignant  star, 

And  wag'd  with  Fortune  an  eternal  war  ? 

Check'd  by  the  scoff  of  Pride,  by  Envy's  frown, 

And  Poverty's  unconquerable  bar. 

In  life's  low  vale  remote  has  pin'd  alone. 

Then  dropt  into  the  grave,  unpitied  and  unknown  1 

Some  means  of  independence  are  in  fact  necessary,  without 
which,  neither  the  heart  nor  mind  of  man,  can  be  expected  to  retain 
that  force  and  energy,  so  necessary  to  the  pursuit  of  literature,  and 
the  glory  which  it  occasionally  produces.  Want,  in  a  better  state  of 
society,  should  never  stimulate  a  man  to  obtain  the  prize  ol  immor- 
tality by  his  pen.  Letters  and  science  are  a  divine  art,  and  not  a 
base  calling  :  it  is  therefore  a  pity,  that  the  man,  who  is  so  infinitely 
superior  to  his  fellows  in  mental  acquirement,  should  be  obliged  to 
descend  to  humiliations,  and  humble  himself  before  those  who  live  by 
his  labours,  and  still  make  him  feel  his  dependence.  To  enjoy  that 
noble  ardour,  so  necessary  in  the  republic  of  letters,  and  the  society 
of  superior  minds,  which  cannot  be  done  withovit  fortune,  philoso- 
phers have  justly  exalted  the  advantages  of  mediocrity,  which  some 
have  dignified  with  the  title  of  golden  mediocrity  ;  the  age  of  peace 
and  innocence  has  also  been  sung,  but  the  present  has,  with  a  good 
deal  of  justice,  been  called  the  golden  age  ! 

In  addition  to  the  entire  spoliation  of  my  personal  effects,  the 
greatest  loss  of  all,  that  of  my  manuscripts,  remains  to  be  noticed  : 
these  were  the  very  last  things  on  earth,  which  I  thought  would  have 
excited  the  cupidity  of  the  barbarians.  Perhaps  they  reasoned  like 
that  ferocious  Saracen  Omar,  who  destroyed  the  Alexandrian  library; 
saying,  "  conformable  to  the  Koran,  they  are  useless;  if  contrary, 
they  ought  to  be  destroyed."  However  this  might  be,  I  felt  the  loss 
most  severely,  and  in  it  seemed  as  if  detached  from  my  dearest  con- 

Books,    says    Petrarch,    are    our  best    friends;     those,  whom 


we  have  been  most  careful  in  selecting,  and  that  most  readily  con- 
form to  our  characters  and  tastes:  they  accompany  us  in  the  study, 
and  follow  us  to  the  country,  eidivening  its  solitude,  and  tilling  up 
the  vacant  hours  of  life  ;  they  speak  and  interrogate  us,  but  if  we 
leave  them,  they  do  not  complain  of  our  absence.  They  amuse  in  the 
hours  of  calmness  and  serenitj .  While  they  inspire  us  with  hope  and 
courage  in  adversity,  they  bring  peace  under  the  heaviest  blows  of 
fortune.  Opening  the  page  of  history,  they  procure  us  the  experience 
of  ages,  and  extend,  as  it  were,  the  existence;  they  enable  us  to 
converse  with  the  absent,  and  live  with  the  men  of  other  days  ;  and, 
by  their  means,  we  are  enabled  to  penetrate  into  futurity. 

Amongst  the  lost  manuscripts,  those  which  I  regretted  most, 
related  to  observations  made  in  my  various  wanderings  while 
absent  from  Tuscany:  tlie  fruits  of  long  meditation,  care,  and 
industry  ;  conveying  a  tolerably  accurate  idea  of  many  import- 
ant historical  events,  which  passed  under  my  own  eye.  By  the 
loss  of  these,  my  fondest  illusions  seemed  to  vanish,  and  I  thought 
myself  thenceforward  condemned  to  sloth,  stupidity,  and  oblivion  ; 
together  with  all  the  inutility  of  an  obscure  life,  and  vacant  soul.  I 
anxiously  sighed  for  repose,  but  wished  it  to  be  accompanied  with 
genial  studies,  sacred  to  the  cultivation  of  those  flowers  which  the 
garden  of  literature  produces,  and  the  ineffable  pleasure  of  courting 
the  Muses.  Fiiends  will  tell  me,  the  lieart  and  head  remains;  but 
the  most  laborious  works,  and  best  productions  of  the  mind,  are  not 
the  result  of  a  moment  :  they  require  time  and  unabating  perseve- 
rance. A  fair  and  languid  flower  is  soon  produced  ;  but  fruits  that 
last,  must  be  matured  by  time  :  that  which  grows  may  remain,  but 
the  tree  once  blasted,  yields  no  more.  These  bewailings  will  no 
doubt  be  attributed  to  the  force  of  self-love  operating  on  a  vain 
mind  ;  but  those,  who  have  experienced  the  pleasures  communicated 
by  a  new  idea,  a  bright  thought,  the  offspring  of  a  sudden  impulse, 
who,  in  the  moment  of  enthusiasm,  and  that  tumult  of  imagination 
and  sentiment,  which  is  at  once  the  emblem  and  source  of  creation  ; 


when  they  feel  a  strength  and  vivacity,  Avhieh  raises  them  above  their 
fellows,  elevating  them  as  it  were  to  a  heavenly  nature.  These  gentle 
spirits,  who  in  the  tranquillity  of  their  closets,  in  the  secret  confer- 
ences ^\  ith  the  nymphs  of  Helicon,  or  solitary  abode  of  philosophy, 
find  more  heartfelt  pleasures,  than  all  the  tumult  of  the  world,  and 
delights  of  frivolous  society,  can  aflfbrd  to  vulgar  souls  :  who,  with  a 
pen  in  their  hand,  have  considered  themselves  beings  of  another 
sphere,  peopled  by  the  most  delightful  dreams  of  imagination,  and 
thus  ranged  within  the  rays  of  their  own  eternal  celebrity  :  those 
will  conceive  the  extent  of  my  sorrow,  and  know  how  to  sympathize 
in  my  unavailing  complaints. 

The  anxious  care  with  which  an  author  endeavours  to  preserve 
the  child  of  his  fancy,  or  fruits  of  research,  is  not  anew  feeling  in  the 
literary  world.  A  great  writer  of  antiquity,  being  threatened  with  some 
eminent  danger,  placed  his  manuscripts  between  his  teeth,  determined 
either  to  save  them,  or  perish  in  the  attempt.  Camoens  too,  when 
wrecked  on  the  coast  of  India,  held  his  immortal  poem  up  in  one 
hand,  while  he  gained  the  shore  by  swimming  with  the  other.  It  is  well 
known  how  delighted  Dante  was,  when  by  a  most  unexpected  piece 
of  good  fortune  his  divine  poems  were  saved  from  the  destructive 
horrors  of  civil  war,  and  the  other  disasters  which  attended  his  exile  ; 
embracing  the  bearer  of  them,  and  fondly  exclaiming  that  he  had 
recovered  immortality  for  him.  It  is  also  related  of  Lebrun,  the 
lyric  poet  of  France,  that  his  female  servant  prevailed  on  liim  to 
mairy  her  ;  in  consequence  of  threatening  to  consign  his  manuscripts 
to  the  flames,  if  he  did  not  innnediately  accede  to  her  strange  propo- 
sition. I  would  have  willingly  made  any  sacrifice  for  the  recovery  of 
my  own  loss  ;  but  it  was  in  vain  that  I  searched  every  part  :  it  was 
evident  that  all  my  papers  had  been  thrown  into  the  sea,  and  my 
name  was  thus  lost  in  the  oblivious  wave. 

Since  the  above  period,  I  have  felt  no  pleasure  in  writing;  I 
seem  to  be  oppressed  with  the  leaden  weight,  which  our  great  poet 



has  placed  over  the  backs  of  hypocrites,  and  that  also  Aveighs  on 
mediocrity.  "  I  was,"  said  Wieland,  "  in  that  happy  situation, 
which  gives  to  days  the  rapidity  of  moments,  and  to  moments  the 
impatience  of  centuries."  I  had  cultivated  a  few  flowers,  and  hoped 
to  bring  forth  some  fruit  ;  but  the  harvest  is  over  :  discouraged  and 
unhappy,  I  cannot  prevail  on  myself  to  return  to  the  Muses.  "  To 
be  joyful  and  contented,"  said  Altieri;  "  it  is  necessary  that  the  mind 
should  be  nourished  by  the  fire  of  tender  passion,  or  have  some  high 
and  noble  object  in  view."  Or,  as  Lord  Rochester  observes  :  "  Per- 
form something  worthy  of  being  written,  or  write  something  that  may 
be  worth  reading." 

In  the  midst  of  all  my  losses,  reflection  did  not  altogether  aban- 
don me  ;  and  with  that,  I  did  not  want  for  consolation.  I  recollected 
that  there  had  been  instances  of  people  placing  their  chief  merit  in  a 
just  contempt  for  earthly  riches  ;  and  amongst  the  rest,  a  philosopher, 
who  the  more  freely  to  indulge  his  ideas  of  independence,  gave  up 
all  his  substance,  adopting  for  his  motto  :  omnia  bona  meciim  porto. 
The  result  of  losing  the  fruits  of  so  many  years'  observation  and 
research,  is  naturally  that  of  being  no  longer  able  to  publish  ;  and  in 
order  to  diminish  the  regret  that  might  arise  from  this  circumstance,  I 
have  the  very  great  satisfaction  of  avoiding  those  innumerable  evils  and 
vexations  to  which  the  profession  of  an  author  almost  invariably 
subjects  him.  And  it  is  no  inconsiderable  blessing  to  escape  these, 
from  the  verbal  criticisms  of  the  illiterate,  to  the  still  more  unmer- 
ciful, and  sometimes  not  very  liberal  castigation  of  reviewers,  the 
caballing  of  pedants,  and  occasional  injustice  of  the  public  ;  to  dancing 
attendance  on  the  booksellers,  and  bearing  up  against  the  learning 
of  printers.  Calling  upon  a  great  man,  three  months  after  /  di€l 
myself  the  honor  of  presenting  him  with  a  copy  of  my  last  pul>lica- 
tion,  I  shall  not  have  the  mortification  of  finding  it  exactly  on  the 
precise  spot  of  his  study  table,  whereon  it  was  deposited  when  pre- 
sented, with  the  great  additional  comfort  of  there  not  being  one  single 

consolAtion?.  83 

ìeaf  cut  !  And  the  bookseller  may  also  be  saved  the  unpleasantness  of 
having  nine  tenths  of  a  splendid  edition  bequeathed  to  his  shelves  in 

Availing  myself  of  the  facilities  afforded  to  the  book  collector  in 
England,  I  had  formed  a  very  tolerable  library,  intended  to  be  the 
great  companion  of  my  future  life.  On  contemplating  the  loss  of 
this  treasure,  I  was  obliged  to  imitate  the  philosophy  of  Fenelon, 
who,  when  informed  of  the  total  destruction  of  all  his  books  by  fire, 
tranquilly  replied,  "  I  should  have  derived  no  profit  from  them, 
if  they  had  not  taught  me  patiently  to  bear  with  their  loss  !" 

But  all  is  lost  in  this  world  :  friends,  lovers,  reputation,  peace 
of  mind,  felicity,  our  patience,  opportunities,  fortune,  and  even  our 
brains.  To  the  ladies  we  lose  our  sighs  and  presents  ;  our  efforts, 
hopes,  and  supplications  in  the  anti-chambers  of  the  great  ;  our  money 
at  rouge  et  noir,  or  five  shilling  loo  ;  we  also  lose  our  time  in  talk- 
ing to  fools,  and  flattering  coxcombs.     The  ambitious  are  berefit  of 

*  Of  all  those  grievances  "  that  make  the  very  angels  weep,"  those  noticed  by  the 
author  are  unquestionably  the  most  distressing.  In  that  long  catalogue  of  minor  sufferings 
to  which  humanity  is  exposed,  whether  we  consider  the  many  hardships  to  which  literary 
men  are  subject,  or  that  superior  degree  of  sensibility  which  renders  these  hardships  infinitely 
more  acute  than  they  could  possibly  be  on  more  ordinary  minds  ;  there  is  no  class  of  men 
entitled  to  a  greater  share  of  sympathy.  Mr.  Pananti's  oL.-;ervations  will,  no  doubt,  come 
home  to  the  feelings  of  thousands,  amongst  whom  many,  possessing  the  fire  of  genius 
accompanied  with  its  latent  virtues,  have  had  more  particularly  to  deplore  that  peculiar 
destiny,  which  has,  in  an  enlightened  age,  condemned  them  either  to  struggle  with  adver- 
i-'ity,  or  pine  in  oblivion  ;  while  their  talents  were  of  a  nature  to  excite  admiration,  and  if 
called  forth  by  patronage,  eminently  calculated  to  improve  the  moral  as  well  as  intellectual 
condition  of  their  fellow  creatures.  Completely  dissatisfied  with  all  the  sophistry  which 
has  been  put  forth  to  account  for  the  proverbial  poverty  and  wretchedness  of  the  lights 
and  beacons  of  the  world,  I  cannot  divest  myself  of  an  idea,  that  after  having  imputed  all 
the  errors  we  can  reasonably  do,  to  their  habitual  indolence  and  unwise  contempt  of 
■worldly  concerns,  there  is  a  manifest  want  of  sympathy  towards  them  ;  and  that,  from 
branches  of  the  community  which  could  not  study  their  own  particular  interest,  or  that  of 
the  multitude  more  advantageously,  than  in  the  occasional  seeking  out,  and  final  protec- 
tion of  men  of  letters. — £d. 

M    i 


tranquillity,  and  the  dissolute  of  health;  heroes  of  life,  and  lawyers 
of  causes  ;  piiiices  lose  provinces,  and  generals  battles  ;  the  rich 
lose  their  wealth,  the  poor  their  shoes,  and  preachers  the  thread  of 
their  discourse  ! 

If  I  had  cause  to  complain  of  having  fallen  into  the  hands  of  the 
pirates,  by  which  I  merely  lost  my  little  property,  with  how  much 
more  reason  had  my  companions  to  repine  ;  who,  in  addition  to  that, 
were  also  condemned  to  slavery'?  "I  complained,"  observes  Sadi, 
"  of  having  no  shoes  to  wear;  but,  in  passing  by  the  entrance  of  the 
great  mosque  at  Damascus,  I  saw  a  man  who  had  lost  both  his  legs  ; 
upon  which  I  ceased  to  complain,  and  no  longer  murmured  against 
Providence."  "  All  is  lost,  save  our  honor;"  said  a  great  monarch  on 
losing  the  battle  of  Pavia  ;  and  with  him  I  can  repeat,  that  I  lost 
all  but  my  liberty.* 

*  111  a  country  like  this,  where  there  is  not  quite  so  amiable  a  disposition  to  enter  into 
those  little  feelings  of  self-love  which  form  a  striking  feature  of  the  Italian  character,  some 
will  perhaps  be  induced  to  consider  theauthor  as  having  dwelt  rather  too  long  on  the  lossof  his 
manuscripts;  while  those  to  whom  he  more  immediately  addresses  himself,  kindred  minds, 
will  readily  enter  into  his  sentiments,  and  make  every  allowance  for  a  weakness,  if  it  be  one, 
which  under  similar  circumstances  they  would  most  probably  yield  to  themselves.  From  the 
manner  in  which  Mr.  P.  has  treated  the  subject  of  these  memoirs,  the  public  will  be  ena- 
bled to  form  a  faint  idea  of  how  far  he  may  be  justified  in  so  deeply  lamenting  his  losses. 
In  addition  to  a  number  of  poetic  effusions  lost  on  the  above  occasion,  there  were  also 
several  very  valuable  notes  on  some  of  the  most  important  events  in  the  revolution,  of 
which  the  author  was  an  eye-witness.  Besides  his  observations  on  the  miseries  of  authorship, 
the  original  memoirs  contain  a  note  on  the  ccmforts  of  publishing  one's  own  book  !  The 
agreeable  ceremony  of  waiting  on  the  gentlemen  of  the  trade,  to  olier  the  manuscript  : 
the  whole  appositely  wound  up  by  some  remarks  on  the  incorrigible  errors  of  the  press  ; 
and  a  dissertation  on  printers'  devils  ;  all  which  is  so  well  understood  in  England,  that  it 
might  well  be  considered  as  an  insult  to  the  good  sense  of  the  literati,  were  I  to  have 
suffered  these  remarks  to  appear  in  my  translation.  By  the  way  of  justifying- Mr.  P.'s  com- 
plaints, it  is  proper  to  inform  the  reader,  that  the  whole  of  his  first  edition,  consisting  of  a 
thousand  copies  of  these  Memoirs,  were,  in  his  estimation  at  least,  rendered  unfit  to  meet 
the  public  eye,  owing  to  its  almost  innumerable  inaccuracies,  occasioned  by  mere  errors  of 
the  press.  No  very  flattering  compliment,  it  must  be  confessed,  to  the  state  of  printing  iu 
Italy  ;  where  an  uathor's  work  is  frequently  suspended,  until  the  paper  is  made  I — Ed. 


It  is  now  time  to  return  to  the  fate  of  my  unfortunate  compa- 
nions, who  remaiued  in  chains.  With  respect  to  the  crew,  I  had  fie- 
quently  the  mortification  of  meeting-  tliem  in  the  streets,  loaded  witli 
irons,  and  sinking  under  the  weight  of  their  forlorn  and  degraded 
condition.  The  females,  who  had  not  yet  been  sold  to  the  Moors, 
were  received  into  the  house  of  the  Danish  consul's  wife,  who  treated 
them  with  all  the  delicate  attention  and  generous  regard,  which  their 
beauty  and  misfortunes  were  so  well  calculated  to  inspire.  The  two 
brothers,  Messrs.  Terreni,  were  exempted  from  labour,  but  remained 
in  slavery.  They  inhabited  a  miserably  small  room,  which  was  washed 
by  the  sea,  where,  with  their  eyes  directed  along  the  receding  beach, 
or  stretched  on  the  gloomy  region  of  tempests,  they  had  an  ample 
opportunity  of  bewailing  their  melancholy  fate.  They  took  their 
meals  with  a  Livornese  slave  named  Brunet,  who  possessed  conside- 
rable talents,  by  which  he  was  enabled  to  make  some  money  while 
at  Algiers,  and  enjoyed  many  privileges.  This  aiForded  him  an 
opportiuiity  of  serving  others  ;  and  the  way  in  which  he  adminis- 
tered to  the  comforts  of  my  two  friends,  proved  a  heart  full  of  kind- 
ness and  generosity.  Having  suffered  himself,  he  knew  how  to  feel 
for  the  woes  of  others.  Men  may  be  compared  to  certain  plants, 
which  yield  a  balsam  for  the  cure  of  diseases  when  they  are  them- 
selves woimded. 

The  Terrenis  deserved  those  attentions,  as  well  on  account  of  their 
afflictions  as  their  personal  merits.  "  There  is  something  perfect  and 
finished  in  your  character,"  said  Bossuet  to  the  Prince  of  Conde  :  "  it 
is  the  lustre  which  misfortime  gives  to  virtue."  The  ancients  too,  had  a 
species  of  religious  veneration  for  those  trees  which  had  been  struck 
with  lightning. 

I  often  went  to  visit  my  friends,  yet,  what  could  I  do  but  sym- 
pathize in  their  griefs  i  Or  what  ofierings  make  beyond  a  tear  ?  But 
even  that  was  some  consolation  for  them. 

I  pianti  pietosi 
Dei  teneri  amici 

St»  SIGiXs»    OF   CHEl^RPL'LNKsjS. 

Pei  cuori  infelici 
Che  il  duolo  colpi. 
Son  come  del  cielo 
Le  molli  rugiade 
Sul  languido  stelo 
Del  fior  cheappassi. 
"  Tlì£  tears  of  pili/  and  friendship,  shed  for  those  overtaken  with 
grief,  are  like  the  dewy  drops  of  heaven,  falling  on  the  stem  whose 
flower  is  drooping." 

By  degrees,  however,  I  was  happy  to  perceive  the  captives  had 
regained  a  little  more  calmness  and  serenity.  When  the  mind  is  lace- 
rated by  sorrow,  ^visdom  comes  smiling,  to  sow  her  seeds  on  the  heart 
moistened  with  tears;  as  the  plough  more  easily  turns  up  the  ground, 
softened  by  rain,  or  the  dews  of  heaven,  before  the  husbandman 
throws  in  the  hopes  of  the  ensuing  harvest.  Wisdom  is  a  rose,  that 
flourishes  best  amongst  thorns,  and  merit  appears  more  luminous,  when 
surrounded  by  the  gloom  of  adversity  :  as  the  lamp  acquires  addi- 
tional splendor  from  darkness. 

Algiers  is  not  one  of  those  cities  oil  Von  pent  se  passer  de 
bonhenr  :  on  the  contrary,  there  is  nothing  to  render  it  agreeable  to  an 
European  resident.  The  poet  Regnard  was  once  a  slave  here,  but 
accompanied  by  his  mistress  Elvira  :  and  what  sorrows  will  not  be 
forgotten  when  a  beloved  object  divides  them  ;  or  what  weight  of 
chains  do  not  became  light,  when  mingled  with  the  tender  ties  of 
love  ì  Regnard  knew  how  to  acquire  the  affection  and  esteem  of 
his  master  Sydi  Thaleb,  by  his  vivacity  and  talents;  not  those  of  com- 
posing verses  and  comedies,  but  which  are  by  many,  even  in  Europe, 
still  more  valued,  that  of  making  pies  and  patties. 

The  Chevalier  Rossi's  amiable  family,  and  myself,  lived  near 
the  English  consul's  country  house,  and  were  daily  in  the  habit  of 
receiving  some  new  marks  of  his  hospitable  attentions.  I  frequently 
descended  into  the  town,  but  never  discerned  any  object  to  excite  interest 
or  curiosity.  No  library,  not  even  a  coffee-room  with  a  news-paper,  or 
thesociety  of  a  single  individual  from  whom  a  new  idea  could  be  gained. 

WANT    OP   SOCIETY.  87 

How  indeed  can  it  be  possible  for  people,  so  full  of  barbarous  preju- 
dices, to  pursue  any  study,  or  encourage  improvements,  with  their 
slavery  and  indolence  I  Letters  expire  when  variety  and  activity  does 
not  give  rise  to  an  incessant  renewal  of  ideas.  It  is  true,  I  occa- 
sionally conversed  with  the  secretary  of  state,  Rais  Hamida,  and  one 
of  the  Cadis  ;  with  the  latter  of  whom,  I  might  be  said  to  have 
contracted  a  kind  of  friendship.  I  was  also  introduced  to  the  Dey  ;  but 
his  gloomy  aspect  was  both  territying  and  repulsive.  "  Looks  of  affabi- 
lity should  ornament  the  front  of  kings  ;"  but  that  of  his  highness,  was 
never  adorned  with  a  sentiment  ofjoy  or  pity.  An  Arabic  poet  compares 
the  prince  to  a  sea,  "which  should  be  avoided  while  ruffled  by 
storms;  but  when  tranquil,  you  may  fish  in  it  for  pearls." 

I  always  felt  a  secret  horror  in  walking  through  the  narrow, 
dark,  and  filthy  streets  of  this  shocking  city.  The  heart  is  oppressed, 
and  the  very  soul  shut  up,  as  it  were,  in  its  tortuous  windings  : 
respiration  itself  was  attended  with  difficulty  and  pain.  When  I 
reflected  on  the  reign  of  barbarism  and  servitude  which  surrounded 
me;  a  contrast  between  meanness  and  servility;  of  trembling  and 
degradation  ;  of  haughty  despotism  and  cruel  bondage  ;  and  consi- 
dered the  circumstance  of  be  ng  encompassed  on  every  side,  with 
suspicion,  jealousy,  and  hatred  ;  that  I  was  every  instant  liable 
to  insult,  chains,  and  eveij'  assassination  :  all  contributed  to  oppress 
the  mind,  and  embitter  the  feelings,  absolutely  destroying  the  power 
of  thought.  I  knew  that  there  was  still  a  possibility  of  the  tyrant's 
changing  his  mind  with  respect  to  my  liberty,  particularly  as  he 
expressed  feelings  of  regret,  at  having  given  me  up  .so  easily  ;  it 
was  thus  that  Sylla  repented  having  left  Caesar  alive,  if  great  things 
may  be  compared  to  small.  So  I  was  neither  .secure  nor  tranquil: 
like  the  philosopher,  who,  living  under  the  reign  of  a  certain  tyrant, 
every  morning,  when  he  awoke,  put  his  hand  up  to  feel  whether  liis 
head  was  on  his  shoulders  I 



Christian  Slavery  in  Algiers. — Its  physical  and  moral  Effects. — Observations 
on  the  Ransom  and  Liberation  effected  by  the  Expedition  under  Lord  Ex- 
mouth. — Rem,arks  on  the  various  Accounts  of  Barbaky  that  have  been 
hitherto  published,  -Object  and  Motives  of  the  Author  in  laying  his  Account 
before  the  Public,  cf-c. 

Those  who  have  ever  been  at  Algiers,  and  witnessed  the  fate  to 
which  Chiistians,  falhng  into  the  hands  of  the  iDarbarians,  are 
condemned,  cannot  form  any  idea  of  tliat  greatest  calamity  which 
fortune  has  in  store  for  hnmanity  ;  or  into  what  an  abyss  of  sorrow  and 
wretchedness,  their  fellow  creatures,  thus  situated,  have  been  plunged. 
Even  myself,  who  saw  and  piovefl  it  to  a  certain  degree,  in  my  own 
person,  am  at  a  loss  for  language  equal  to  a  description  of  what 
Christians  feel  and  suffer,  when  precipitated  into  this  dreadful  situation. 
jVo  sooner  is  any  one  declared  a  slave,  than  he  is  instantly  stripped 
of  his  clothes,  and  covered  with  a  species  of  sack-cloth  ;  he  is  also 
generally  left  without  shoes  or  stockings,  and  often  obliged  to  work 
bare-headed,  in  the  scorching  rays  of  an  African  sun.  Many  suffer 
their  beard  to  grow,  as  a  sign  of  mourning  and  desolation  ;  while 
tlieir  general  state  of  filth  is  not  to  be  conceived.  Some  of  these 
wretched  beings  are  destined  to  make  ropes  and  sails  for  the  squa- 
dron: these  are  constantly  superintended  by  keepers,  who,  carry 
whips  ;  and  frequently  extort  money  from  their  victims,  as  the 
price  of  somewhat  less  rigour  in  the  execution  of  their  duty  ;  others 
belong  to  the  Dey's  household  ;  and  many  are  employed  by  the  rich 
Moors,  who  may  have  bought  them  at  market,  in  the  lowest  drud- 
gery of  domestic  employment.    Some,  like  the  beasts  of  burthen,  are 


employed  in  carrying  stones  and  wood  for  any  public  buildings  that 
may  be  going  on  :  these  are  usually  in  chains,  and  justly  considered 
as  the  worst  among  their  oppressed  brethren.  What  a  perpetuity  of 
terrors,  series  of  anguish,  and  monotonous  days,  must  not  theirs  be  ! 
without  a  bed  to  lie  on,  raiment  to  cover  them,  or  food  to  support 
nature!  Two  black  cakes  like  those  already  alluded  to,  and 
thrown  down,  as  if  intended  for  dogs,  is  their  principal  daily  susten- 
ance ;  and,  had  it  not  been  for  the  charity  of  a  rich  Moor,  who  left  a 
legacy  for  that  purpose,  Friday,  the  only  day  they  are  exempted  from 
work,  would  have  seen  them  without  any  allowance  whatever.  Shut 
up  at  night  in  the  prison,  like  so  many  malefactors,  they  are  obliged 
to  sleep  in  the  open  corridor,  exposed  to  all  the  inclemency  of  the 
seasons.  In  the  country  they  are  frequently  forced  to  lay  in  the  open 
air  ;  or,  like  the  Troglodite  of  old,  shelter  themselves  in  caverns. 
Awoke  at  day-light,  they  are  sent  to  work  with  the  most  abusive 
threats,  and  thus  employed,  become  shortly  exhausted  under  the 
weight  and  severity  of  their  keepers'  whips. 

Those  destined  to  sink  wells  and  clear  sewers,  are  for  whole 
weeks  obliged  to  be  up  to  their  middle  in  water,  respiring  a  mephitic 
atmosphere  :  others  employed  in  quarries  are  threatened  with  con- 
stant destruction,  which  often  comes  to  their  relief  Some  attached 
to  the  harness  in  which  beasts  of  the  field  are  also  yoked,  are  obliged 
to  draw  nearly  all  the  load,  and  never  fail  to  receive  more  blows  than 
their  more  favoured  companion  the  ass  or  mule.  Some  are  crushed  under 
the  falling  of  buildings,  while  others  perish  in  the  pits  into  which 
they  are  sent  to  be  got  rid  of  It  is  usual  for  one  and  two  hundred 
slaves  to  drop  off  in  the  year,  for  want  of  food,  medical  attend- 
ance, and  other  necessaries;  and  woe  to  those  who  remain  if  they 
attempt  to  heave  a  sigh  or  complain  in  the  hearing  of  their  inex- 
orable master.  The  slightest  offence  or  indiscretion,  is  punished 
with  two  hundred  blows  on  the  soles  of  the  feet,  or  over  the 
back;  and  resistance  to  this  shocking  treatment  is  often  punished 
with  death. 

When,  in   marching,  a  poor  slave  is  exhausted  by  sickness  or 



fatigue,  and  the  cruelty  of  his  usage,  he  is  inhumanly  aliandoned  on 
the  hio-h  road,  to  be  insulted  by  the  natives,  or  trod  under  foot  by 
the  passen2,ers.  They  frequently  return  from  the  mountains  with  the 
blood  trickling  from  their  limbs,  which  are,  together  with  their  whole 
body,  covered  with  scars  and  bruises.  One  evening  towards  dark,  I 
was  called  to  by  a  hoarse  voice  :  on  drawing  nearer;  I  beheld  an  un- 
happy being  stretched  on  the  ground,  foaming  at  the  mouth,  and 
with  the  blood  bursting  from  his  nose  and  eyes.  I  had  scarcely  stopt, 
struck  with  hoiTor  and  apprehension,  when,  in  a  faint  voice,  the  word 
"  Christian  !  Christian  !"  was  repeated.  "  For  Heaven's  sake  have  pity 
on  my  sufferings,  and  terminate  an  existence  which  I  can  no  longer 
support!"  "  Who  are  you  J"  was  my  reply.  "  I  am  a  slave,"  said 
the  poor  creature,  "  and  we  are  all  badly  treated  !  An  oldak  of  the 
militia  who  was  passing  this  way,  and  happening  to  be  near  me  at 
the  time,  he  exclaimed  in  an  angry  tone,  '  dog  of  a  Christian,  how 
dare  you  stop  the  road  when  one  of  the  faithful  passes  !'  This  was 
followed  by  a  blow  and  a  kick,  which  threw  me  down  a  height  of 
several  feet,  and  has  left  me  in  this  condition." 

On  another  occasion  the  situation  of  a  still  more  unfortunate 
slave,  was  equally  calculated  to  excite  my  indignation  and  sympathy. 
He  was  sorrowfully  seated  under  an  old  wall  :  at  his  feet  there  lay  an 
immense  load,  under  which  he  seemed  to  have  simk;  his  visage  was 
pallid  and  meagre  ;  with  looks  full  of  wildness,  and  eyes  fixed  on  the 
ground,  all  expressing  strong  signs  of  premature  age,  brought  on  by 
grief  and  sufferings;  raising  his  head,  he  seemed  to  become  more 
agitated,  and  striking  his  breast  and  forehead  several  times,  deep  sigh.s 
seemed  to  relieve  his  mind  from  some  internal  paroxysm  of  despair. 
"  What  can  be  the  matter,  my  friend  ?"  said  I,  addressing  myself  to 
this  unfortunate  wretch.  "  Why  all  these  signs  of  misery  and  distress!" 
"  Poor  Christians,"  he  replied;  "  there  is  no  help  for  them  in  this 
world!  and  their  groans  are  not  heard  in  Heaven.  I  was  born  in 
Naples,  but  what  country  have  I  t  Nobody  assists  me  ;  I  am  forgot- 
ten by  all.     I  was  noble,  rich,  and  illustrious  in  the  place  of  my 


birth  ;  see  how  wretchedness  and  slavery  can  change  tiie  iace  of  man. 
It  is  now  eleven  years  since  my  sufferinij;s  began  ;  during  which  time, 
I  have  in  vain  solicited  the  assistance  of  relatives  and  fellow  crea- 
tures, but  all  to  no  purpose  ;  there  being  no  longer  any  one  on  whom 
I  can  place  hope  or  reliance.  To  whom  therefore  can  I  turn  my  eyes 
for  support  ^  V\^hat  have  I  done  to  deserve  so  much  oppression  and 
suffering?"  After  he  had  given  vent  to  his  feelings,  I  did  my  best  to 
recommend  patience,  resignation,  and  hope.  I  also  touched  on 
the  promises  of  eternal  reward  to  those  who  siitfer  here  below  with 
becoming  fortitude.  All  this  was  answered  with  a  forced  smile, 
accompanied  by  a  look,  which  spoke  volumes,  and  proved  the  little 
use  of  attempting  to  console  or  reconcile  man  to  his  ill-fated  suf- 
ferings. While  mournfully  withdrawing  myself  tiom  a  scene  which 
could  only  add  to  the  poignancy  of  my  own  lacerated  feelings, 
without  mitigating  those  of  a  fellow  creature,  already  oppressed  with 
more  than  he  could  bear  ;  the  last  time  of  turning  to  the  spot,  saw 
him  rolling  on  the  ground,  and  with  heavy  sighs,  lamenting  his 
melancholy  fate. 

Although  a  price  is  set  on  each  captive,  that  the  whole  may 
encourage  a  hope  of  freedom  ;  yet,  from  the  peculiar  mode  in  which 
their  liberation  must  be  effected,  this  hope  is  almost  unavailing.  If 
after  having  obtained  leave  to  exercise  their  trade,  they  acquire  any 
property,  they  are  not  allowed  to  pay  it  for  their  ransom.  Ofi'ers  of 
this  kind  have  always  been  rejected,  on  the  ground  of  the  Dey's  l)eing 
legal  heir  to  all  the  property  of  his  slaves:  and  frequently,  in  order  to 
get  possession  of  it  a  little  sooner,  this  honorable  revenue  is  anticipated 
by  the  owner's  being  dispatched. 

Captivity  is  thus  surrounded  with  aggravated  cruelties,  which 
seem  to  have  no  end.  Their  forlorn  condition  has  been  very  properly 
compared  to  those  spirits  condemned  to  inhabit  the  house  of  dark- 
ness and  despair  :  who,  according  to  a  popular  writer,  are  con- 
stantly enquiring  what  hour  of  the  day  it  is,  and  as  often  receive  the 
terrific  reply  of  eternity  !     It  is  not  enough  that  they  should  groan 



under  excessive  laìjoar  and  multiplied  bloAVs  ;  but  derision,  abuse, 
and  contempt  must  be  added  :  and  this  species  of  suffering  is,  if  pos- 
sible, moie  acutely  felt  than  the  former.  "  Faithless  Ciiristian  dog," 
is  the  ordinary  mode  of  addressing  a  slave  ;  and  this  degrading  epi- 
thet is  invariably  accompanied  with  the  most  insulting  gesture,  occa- 
sionally by  personal  violence.  Whenever  a  captive  is  taken  ill  in 
Algiers,  motives  of  self-interest  call  upon  the  Moorish  proprietor  for 
a  little  indulgence  ;  but  were  it  not  for  the  benign  charity  of  Spain, 
which  has  established  a  small  finid  to  support  an  hospital  for  the 
reception  of  Christian  slaves,  the  latter  when  overcome  with  disease, 
would  be  left  to  perish  in  the  streets,  and  suffering  humanity  remain 
completely  unassisted.  By  means  of  the  above  benevolent  insti- 
tution, they  may  at  least  hope  to  die  in  peace  ;  and  in  the  act  of  aban- 
doning this  vale  of  tears,  be  sustained  by  the  hopes  of  future  bliss. 
But  the  ineffable  consolations  of  religion  cannot  be  very  liberali}^ 
bestowed  on  these  poor  people,  there  being  but  one  priest  to  soothe 
the  bed  of  sickness,  administer  to  the  wishes  of  the  dying  man,  and 
inspire  the  fugitive  spirit  with  the  bright  hope  of  another  and  a  better 
world  ! 

The  present  clergyman,  like  another  Vincenzio  de  Paoli,  with 
a  most  philanthropic  spirit  and  truly  Christian  zeal  devotes  all  his 
time  to  the  spiritual  relief  and  comfort  of  the  sick  and  infirm,  to 
whom  he  is  an  angel  of  peace  and  consolation.  But  how  can  a  single 
spiritual  adviser,  however  great  his  exertions  and  well  disposed, 
attend  to  three  thousand  Christians  ;  of  whom  hundreds  are  scattered 
about  the  country,  and  have  been  for  years,  without  appearing  at  a 
place  of  public  worship  ?  and  in  the  absence  of  that  necessary  duty  been 
doomed  to  hear  curses  and  reprobation  heaped  on  the  great  Prophet  of 
Nazareth  t  It  is  only  ten  years  ago,  that  even  the  tomb  afforded  no  shelter 
to  the  remains  of  a  Christian  in  this  country  :  the  rites  of  sepulture 
were  for  a  long  time  absolutely  refused  to  the  bodies  of  Christian  cap- 
tives ;  and  they  were  often  left  exposed  in  the  open  air  to  be  devoured 
by  reptiles  and  birds  of  prey.     It  was  with  considerable  difficulty 


that  Charles  the  Fourth  of  Spain,  obtained  at  an  enormous  price,  a 
small  space  near  the  sea,  which  has  since  been  the  Christian  burying 
ground  ;  but  it  is  not  distinguished  by  any  mark  to  denote  the  solemn 
purpose,  nor  a  fence  to  defend  the  sacred  precincts  fiom  barbarous 
intrusion.     Thus  do  Christians  live,  and  die  in  Algiers!!!* 

Having  endeavoured  to  communicate  a  limited  notion  of  its 
physical  effects,  I  ought  also  to  make  a  few  remarks  on  the  moral 
tendency  of  .slavery.  All  agree  that  loss  of  liberty  is  the  greatest 
misfortune  which  can  possibly  befal  a  human  being.  Without  any  of 
those  consolations  which  generally  accompany  other  griefs,  it  does  not 
give  rise  to  any  of  those  impulses  which  are  calculated  to  support  the 
mind  in  adversity.  All  our  other  sorrows  awaken  feelings  of  tenderness 
and  sympathy  in  generous  minds,  and  inspire  respect,  If  not  relieved, 
they  are,  at  least,  blest  with  commiseration.  The  prisoners  who 
have  been  shut  up  in  the  Bastille,  the  fortresses  of  Spandau,  Olmutz, 
Magdeburg,  Stetin,  and  the  Tower  of  Oblivion  in  Persia,  displeased 
the  great,  and  may  perhaps  have  deserved  incarceration  ;  but  they  were 
regarded  with  some  degree  of  imjjortance,  and  as  men  of  no  conmion 
characters.  When  the  exiles  of  Siberia  passed,  they  were  followed 
by  a  sympathetic  look  of  pity  not  unmixed  witii  admiration  ;  people 
sighing,  exclaimed:    "  There  goes  an  exile!"   As  to  slavery,  you 

*  Melancholy  as  the  author  has  depicted  slavery  in  Algiers,  I  can  safely  assure  the 
reader,  from  ocular  proofs,  that  the  above  is  very  far  from  being  an  exaggerated  picture. 
On  the  contrary ,  it  only  represents  a  small  part  of  those  sufferings  to  which  captivity  is 
subjected  in  Barbary.  This  topic,  so  deeply  interesting  to  humanity,  may  receive  some 
farther  illustration  by  a  reference  to  my  Letters  from  Tunis  and  Tripoly,  at  both  of  which 
places  I  had  frequent  and  ample  opportunities  of  witnessing  scenes  infinitely  more  heart- 
rending than  any  brought  forward  by  Mr.  Pananti.  Thanks  be  to  God!  that  in  the  desire 
of  improvement  so  eminently  conspicuous  in  the  history  of  the  present  day,  the  important 
question  as  to  the  absolute  necessity  of  annihilating  the  Barbary  system,  has  been  univer- 
sally canvassed,  and  as  universally  decided  upon.  Though  tardy,  there  is  now  but  one 
sentiment  throughout  Europe  upon  this  point.  And  the  irresistible  voice  of  public  opinion 
having  once  gone  abroad,  it  only  remains  for  the  great  powers  to  coalesce  in  the  execution 
of  a  design  which  posterity  will  regard  in  a  far  different  way  to  what  it  must  the  partition 
of  Poland,  and  other  similar  political  arrangements. — £d. 


cannot  divest  it  of  a  certain  opprobriimi,  and  servile  baseness  ;  which 
freezes  the  heart,  disgusts  the  sight,  and  repels  sympathy.  There  is 
an  unconscious  horror  created  in  the  mind,  towards  tliis  most  unna- 
tural state  of  man;  and  we  proscribe  the  slave,  as  the  Hindoos  do  the 
member  of  a  cast,  who  may  have  violated  the  precepts  of  his  religion. 
Even  the  captive  himself,  when  long  accustomed  to  be  thus  regarded, 
begins  seriously  to  think  his  nature  has  experienced  a  change  ; 
and  in  that  state  of  mind,  considers  himself  as  degraded  as  he  is 
unhappy.  Chains,  while  they  are  thought  disgraceful  by  the  free, 
depreciate  the  wearer  in  his  own  esteem,  until  his  soul  is  deprived  of 
all  the  salutary  influence  of  liberty.  It  is  thus,  that  the  cultivated 
European,  when  left  for  any  time  a  prey  to  his  wretched  fate,  is  at 
last  persuaded  to  look  upon  himself  as  even  inferior  to  the  savages  of 
Africa  ;  and  the  man  who  was  born  free,  to  direct  his  piercing  eye  and 
noble  front  towards  Heaven,  sinks  to  the  degrading  alternative  of 
Ibrgetting  the  original  intentions  of  nature.  The  soul  has  been  often 
purified  in  the  crucible  of  adversity  ;  but  in  a  state  of  slavery,  there 
is  something  so  abject  and  forlorn,  that  it  destroys  the  courage,  and 
quenches  all  the  fire  of  generous  sentiments,  depriving  its  victim  at 
once  of  mind  and  dignity.  Another  of  its  evils,  and  by  far  the  worst, 
virtue,  which  teaches  us  to  vanquish  every  grief,  or  render  them 
sources  of  utility,  is  generally  weakened,  and  often  altogether  extin- 
guished in  a  mind  habituated  to  slavery.  Sorrow  vitiates  the  heart 
where  it  breaks  the  spirit.  The  virtues  spring  from  great  and  generous 
souls,  while  vice  is  the  offspring  of  meanness.  Religion  too,  that 
column  of  Heaven,  to  which  we  cling  when  all  around  us  totters, 
ceases  to  afford  consolation  to  the  heart  that  is  ulcerated  :  those  who 
are  taught  to  regard  themselves  as  entirely  abandoned  on  earth,  no 
longer  look  to  Heaven  for  support.  It  is  true,  while  suftering  toge- 
ther, they  mingle  their  tears  ;  but  friendship,  that 

Mysterious  cement  of  the  soul  ! 
Sweet' uer  of  life,  and  solace  of  society! 

is  mute,  and  lost  to  those  who  find  no  pity  out  of  their  own  immediate 
circle.     Instead  of  uniting  for  mutual  support,  hatred  and  envy  more 


frequently  intervene  to  embitter  tlieir  distress.  The  fortunate  man  is 
gay  and  animated  ;  liis  lieart  smiles  in  unison  with  all  around  him  ; 
his  soul  is  serene  as  a  cloudless  day  :  but  he  who  has  suftered 
from  '  man's  inhumanity  to  man,'  or  an  iron  destiny,  feels  that  the 
streams  of  pity  are  dried  up  within  him  ;  while  the  flame  which  ani- 
mated his  heart  in  better  days,  is  extinguished  Avitli  his  happiness. 

A  Persian  tiaveller,  who  m as  sitting  in  the  anti-chamber  of  an 
European  sovereign,  observed  a  person  magnificently  dressed  ;  but 
who,  notwithstanding  the  splendor  and  gold  which  covered  him, 
appeared  immersed  in  gloomy  and  sorrowful  thoughts  :  he  walked  iFp 
and  down  the  room,  without  being  noticed  or  spoken  to  by  any  one. 
Struck  by  his  singular  appearance,  the  oriental  enquired,  who  that 
great,  but  unhappy  personage  might  be?  He  to  whom  the  question 
was  put,  said,  that  he  was  a  great  lord  of  the  comt,  and  governor  of 
a  distant  province,  who  had  formerly  enjoyed  the  first  place  in  the 
monarch's  favour,  but  that  the  prince  had  now  withdrawn  his  protec- 
tion, so  that  he  only  experienced  humiliation  and  disgusts  in  the  palace. 
Upon  this,  the  Persian  arose  and  disdainfully  cried  :  why  do  theif 
treat  him  thus?  Winj  is  his  life  so  embittered?  If  theij  have  no  regard 
for  him,  let  them  at  least  have  a  little  pity  for  those  tvho  are  so  un- 
fortunate as  to  be  placed  under  his  government  ! 

To  conclude  this  melancholy  subject,  of  all  human  sufferers,  I 
have  been  taught  to  believe,  the  Christian  slaves  of  Barbary  are  the 
greatest  :  being  in  that  dreadful  state,  when,  according  to  the  saga- 
cious author  of  Corinna,  deep  and  long  continued  sorrow  has 
absorbed  every  pleasurable  emotion,  leaving  behind  a  sentiment  of 
sadness  and  despair  ;  a  situation  in  which  life  seems  embittered  by  an 
envenomed  dart.  They  fall  oppressed  aud  cast  down  by  the  weight  of 
their  sufferings  :  under  the  rod  which  smites  them,  they  cannot  any 
longer  raise  their  heads.  The  gods,  says  a  fine  verse  of  Homer, 
snatch  away  all  the  spirit  of  those  whom  they  have  destined  to  fall 
into  the  wretched  condition  of  slavery.  Servitude  is  indeed  a  cruel 
necessity,  which  breaks  and  destroys  whatever  it  encompasses. 


From  a  subject  like  the  foregoing,  and  that  long  train  of  melan- 
choly ideas  which  its  consideration  is  so  justly  calculated  to  excite, 
how  highly  gratifying  is  it,  to  be  enabled  by  a  fortunate  and  happy 
combination  of  circumstances,  to  follow  it  up  by  congratulating 
humanity  at  large,  on  the  recent  liberation  of  so  many  unfortunate 
sufferers  ;  who  had  for  many  years  been,  as  it  were,  forgotten  by  their 
European  brethren.*  Those  warriors,  who  escaped  the  ravages  of 
disease  or  the  sword,  during  the  long  hostility  which  desolated  the 
civilized  world,  found  no  difficulty  in  regaining  their  native  homes,  from 
the  remotest  corners  of  the  earth  to  which  their  services  may  have  led  them  ; 
but  the  miserable  children  of  Europe,  who  had  fallen  into  the  hands 

*=  To  relieve  any  little  curiosity  which  may  have  been  excited  by  that  part  of  the 
foregoing  narrative  which  relates  to  my  companions  in  misfortune,  it  is  in  this  place  proper 
to  observe,  that  they  were,  after  two  long  years  of  bondage,  amongst  the  number  of  those 
liberated  by  the  British  arms.  The  Messieurs  Terreni  on  leaving  Algiers,  proceeded  to 
.Sicily  for  the  arrangement  of  their  mercantile  concerns  ;  the  ci-devant  Hero,  together  with 
the  poor  sailors,  his  crew,  were  no  doubt  sent  on  to  their  native  island.  But  how  am  I  to 
relate  the  hapless  story  of  that  beautiful  young  female,  whose  constancy  and  virtue  drew 
forth  so  much  admiration  during  our  passage  ?  Poor  girl  !  Scarcely  had  her  emancipa- 
tion been  effected,  and  she  began  fondly  to  imagine  that  happiness  which  awaited  her 
return,  than  she  was  taken  violently  ill,  and,  melancholy  to  add,  only  survived  a  few  days! 
Although  consigned  to  an  unknown  grave  in  a  barbarous  land,  her  unhappy  tale  will  live 
in  the  remembrance  of  all  those  who  possess  a  tear  for  the  sufferings  of  others  :  and  the 
admirable  lines  of  Pope  may  with  such  singular  felicity  be  applied  to  the  fate  of  this  inte- 
resting female,  that  1  trust  no  apology  is  necessary  for  their  quotation. 

What  can  atone,  O  ever  injured  shade  ! 

Thy  fate  unpitied,  and  thy  rites  unpaid  ? 

No  friend's  complaint,  no  kind  domestic  tear, 

Pleas'd  thy  pale  ghost,  or  grac"d  thy  mournful  bier. 

By  foreign  hands  thy  dying  eyes  were  clos'd. 

By  foreign  hands  thy  decent  limbs  composed. 

By  foreign  hands  thy  humble  grave  adorn'd, 

By  strangers  honor'd,  and  by  strangers  mourn'd! 

Yet  shall  thy  grave  with  rising  flow'rs  be  dress'd. 

And  the  green  turf  lie  lightly  on  thy  breast: 

There  shall  the  morn  her  earliest  tears  bestow  ; 

There  the  first  roses  of  the  year  shall  blow  ; 

While  angels  with  their  silver  wings  o'ershade 

The  ground  now  sacred  by  thy  relics  made  I 


of  the  Barbaiy  pirates,  were  detained  in  the  cruellest  bondage,  were 
not  destined  to  share  that  blessing-. 

At  the  grand  period  of  political  restoration,  an  important  nego- 
tiation was  set  on  foot,  for  the  restitution  of  inanimate  statues  and 
pictures,  which  ended  in  the  complete  accomplishment  of  its  object  ; 
but  not  a  word  was  said  about  restoring  the  white  Christian  slaves  of 
Barbary  !  It  was  thought  to  be  important  to  the  peace  and  interests 
of  Europe,  to  fill  up  the  vacant  niches  in  the  museums  of  Italy,  and 
cover  the  bare  walls  in  the  gilded  palaces  of  kings  ;  but  it  was  not 
thought  necessary  to  fill  up  the  fire-side  of  those  cottages,  the  inha- 
bitants of  which  were  dragging  on  a  deplorable  existence  on  the 
inhospitable  shores  of  Africa  ! 

Previous  to  the  successful  attack  of  Lord  Exmouth,  several  hun- 
dred slaves  were  redeemed  by  paying  their  ransom,  and  the  honor  of 
this  negociation  also  belonged  to  the  British  admiral  ;  but  can  any 
thing  be  half  so  humiliating,  as  to  have  seen  the  great  queen  of  the 
ocean,  who  had  been  so  mainly  instrumental  in  liberating  Europe 
itself  from  bondage,  entering  into  all  the  forms  of  solemn  treaties 
with  the  impious  regencies  of  Barbary,  and  thus  acknowledging  the 
previous  right  to  make  slaves  of  Christian  subjects  I  Would  it  not 
have  been  more  consonant  to  the  high  character  and  dignity  of  the 
British  nation,  had  she  peremptorily  insisted  on  these  marauders 
adhering  more  closely  to  the  public  law  of  Europe,  after  the  peace  of 
the  continent  had  been  obtained  at  so  high  a  price,  and  by  such  unex- 
ampled sacrifices? — A  peace  which  was  violated  by  those  unprincipled 
monsters,  when  the  most  powerful  monarchs  of  Europe  had  entered 
into  sacred  alliances  for  its  preservation  ! 

Upon  the  important  result  of  the  British  admiral's  late  expedition 
against  the  most  guilty  city,  there  can  be  but  one  sentiment  of  unde- 
cided applause  throughout  Europe  ;  in  as  much  as,  that  a  real  tem- 
porary benefit  accrues  from  it,  in  the  liberation  of  so  many  unfortu- 
nate sufferers.  There  cannot  be  a  shadow  of  doubt,  but  that  offended 
humanity  called  for  a  much  more  exemplary  chastisement  ;  but  we 


98  DR.    SHAW'S    TRAVELS. 

are  not  to  reject  a  part,  because  the  whole  has  not  been  obtained  : 
and,  in  addition  to  the  real  benefits  derived  from  this  spirited  exer- 
tion of  the  British  ministry,  it  proves  the  very  important  fact  of  the 
extreme  facility  with  which  a  well  combined  naval  and  military  opera- 
tion might  be  conducted  on  this  interesting  part  of  the  African  continent. 
But  the  more  ample  discussion  of  this  momentous  subject,  is  neces- 
sarily deferred,  until  I  have  endeavoured  to  make  my  readers  more 
intimately  acquainted  with  the  history,  government,  manners,  cus- 
toms, and  character  of  a  people,  who  are  surely  destined  by  Pro- 
vidence, in  its  all-wise  scheme  of  human  improvement,  one  day  or 
other  to  be  once  more  brought  within  the  pale  of  civilization  ! 

Although  a  great  many  works  have  been  published,  relative  to 
the  coast  of  Barbary,  yet  it  is  universally  acknowledged  that  those 
who  have  written  on  the  svxbject,  left  a  variety  of  points  intimately 
connected  with  its  general  attributes,  towards  which  the  curiosity  of 
the  public  is  still  anxiously  directed  :  particularly  at  a  time  when 
the  conduct  of  its  respective  chiefs  have  scarcely  left  one  dissenting 
voice  throughout  Europe;  as  to  the  moral  and  political  necessity  of 
effectually  desti'oying  their  future  means  of  plundering  civilized 
nations,  and  condemning  their  subjects  to  slavery.  In  alluding, 
however,  to  our  stock  of  information,  with  regard  to  these  states 
generally,  a  ^ery  important  exception  may  be  made,  as  far  as  relates 
more  immediately  to  Algiers,  upon  which  nothing  either  very  elabo- 
rate or  correct  has  appeared  since  the  publication  of  Doctor  Shaw's 
work,  although  nearly  a  century  has  elapsed.  And  however  inter- 
esting on  the  score  of  Numidian  antiquities  it  may  be,  it  is  by  no 
means  calculated  to  satisfy  the  more  important  and  extended  researches 
of  the  present  day.  To  those,  in  fact,  who  have  considered  the  sub- 
ject, nothing  can  be  more  singular  than  the  almost  total  indiflerence 
which  has  until  very  lately  prevailed,  as  to  the  internal  situation 
of  a  country,  that  is,  on  a  very  great  variety  of  accounts,  much 
more  important  to  the  people  of  Europe,  than  nearly  all  the  other 
unexplored  regions  of  that  vast  continent. 


There  is,  it  must  be  confessed,  no  difficulty  in  accounting  for  onr 
extreme  want  of  information  as  to  tlie  interior  of  Tunis,  Tripoly,  and 
Algiers.  For  such  lias  been  the  jealous  ferocity  of  their  respective 
governments,  ever  since  their  first  lawless  establisliment,  that  the 
enterprizing  European  adventurers,  who  visited  Africa,  seemed  to 
prefer  throwing  themselves  on  the  mercy  of  the  wild  savages  of 
Ethiopia,  rather  than  venture  amongst  wretches  who  make  a 
merit  of  plunder  and  assassination.  Gratifying  as  a  more  minute 
description  of  the  above  named  states  than  has  hitherto  appeared, 
must  undoubtedly  prove  to  the  public  at  large,  I  fear  there  is  not 
much  probability  of  that  desiralile  object  being  accomplished,  while 
the  present  order  of  things  continue.  In  the  mean  time,  there  is  no 
reason  why  we  should  not-  avail  ourselves  of  the  materials  already 
within  onr  reach,  for  the  purpose  of  illustrating  a  subject,  with  which 
it  is  hoped  the  future  destiny  of  Europe  will  be  linked  in  a  very  dif- 
ferent way  to  what  it  has  been  during  the  last  three  hundred  years.* 

Notwithstanding  those  difficulties  which  might  have  been  sup- 
posed to  impede  the  progress  of  my  enquiries,  yet  the  circumstance  of 
knowing  how  little  had  been  published  on  the  subject  of  Algiers, 
determined  me  to  collect  all  the  information  I  possibly  could  while  on 
the  spot  ;  and  a  perusal  of  most  of  those  works  which  have  appeared 
on  Barbary  since  my  return  to  Ital^ ,  confirmed  me  in  an  opinion  that 
the  details  thus  collected,  would  not  be  altogether  unacceptable  to 
the  public  :  particularly  as  I  had  recourse  to  all  those  individuals, 

*  A  young  friend  of  mine,  who  is  strongly  imbued  with  the  rage  for  exploring,  and 
by  a  most  unusual  coincidence  possesses  an  ample  private  fortime  to  promote  his  very 
praiseworthy  views,  left  England  for  Tunis  about  eighteen  months  ago,  with  the  full 
intention  of  going  through  all  the  interior  of  that  regency  if  permitted.  As  he  was 
extremely  well  supplied  with  books  and  instruments,  I  sincerely  hope  no  trifling  obstacle 
will  induce  him  to  relinquish  so  useful  an  undertaking  ;  and  confess  I  look  forward  with 
considerable  anxiety  to  the  rpsult  of  his  labours  :  knowing  that  from  the  little  I  have 
myself  witnessed  in  that  quarter,  no  part  of  the  world  contains  a  richer  mine  for  the 
of  an  intelligent  traveller. — Ed. 

o  2 


wliether  oonimercial  or  otherwise,  who  were  likely  to  afford  the  most 
authentic  accounts  of  whatever  I  wished  to  be  informed  upon. 

In  all  attempts  to  describe  the  manners  and  customs  of  Maho- 
metans, it  is  of  course  totally  impossible  to  avoid  going  over  a  great 
deal  of  ground  already  trodden  by  other  travellers.  Nor  will  it,  I  pre- 
sume, be  expected  :  for  although  nil  novi  sub  sole,  may  be  justly 
applied  to  most  subjects,  I  certainly  claim  some  little  exception  in  the 
present  instance.  Anxious  that  the  following  account  of  manners 
and  customs  in  Algiers  may  contribute  to  the  reader's  amusement,  my 
utmost  ambition  will  be  gratified  if  it  should  also  be  found  to  convey 
a  little  useful  instruction.  However  defective  my  labours  may  have 
been,  I  shall  not  imitate  the  Abbé  de  Choisi,  who,  after  having  pub- 
lished a  history  of  the  church,  was  heard  to  declare  :  "  Now  that  my 
work  is  printed,  I  shall  begin  to  study  the  ecclesiastical  history  V 
"  How  did  you  acquire  all  your  wisdom'^''  was  asked  of  some  of  the 
ancient  philosophers.  "  By  interrogating  those  1  met  upon  all  that  I 
was  in-norant  <>/""  was  the  sage's  reply. 



Babbary. — Derivation  of  its  Name. — Soil,  and  Climate. — Short  View  of  its 
general  History ,  and  o/ Algiers  in  particular. — Geographical  Description. 
—Monuments  and  Remains  of  Antiquity. —  The  Capital  described. 

That  pai-t  of  northern  Africa  called  Barbary,  has,  like  most  other 
countries,  furaished  the  learned  with  a  controversy  about  the  origin 
of  its  name  :  some  deriving  it  from  the  Arabic  word  Ber,  which  sig- 
nifies a  desert  ;  but  this  cannot  surely  apply  to  countries  so  rich  and 
fertile.  Others  have  fancied  they  could  trace  the  appellation  to  a 
nearly  similar  sound  with  the  above,  meaning  a  man  who  speaks 
through  his  teeth.  This  is  equally  fallacious,  not  answering,  in  any 
way,  to  the  present  dialect  of  the  Moors.  In  search  of  another  deri- 
vative, the  Romans  are  said  to  have  styled  it  Barbary,  from  the 
ferocious  character  of  its  inhabitants  ;  but,  in  addition  to  there  being 
no  historical  record  of  this  kind,  a  little  reflection  will  show  the  im- 
probability of  such  a  significant  epithet  applying  to  a  country  which 
was  civilized  almost  as  early  as  their  own  ;  and  containing,  in  after 
times,  by  far  the  finest  colonies  they  possessed.  Its  extreme  afli- 
nity  to  the  modern  inhabitants  of  this  extensive  region,  proves  very 
strongly,  that  the  word  Barbary  is  of  much  more  recent  invention 
than  the  time  of  the  Romans.  The  most  generally  received  opinion 
of  the  present  day,  traces  it  to  Bereber,  the  country  of  shepherds  ; 
while  some,  however,  deduce  it  from  Berberi,  people  inhabiting  near 
a  strait.  Be  this  as  it  may,  no  country  on  earth  is  more  highly 
favoured  by  nature  :  and,  next  to  Egypt,  it  was,  while  under  the 
Roman  yoke,  justly  regarded  as  the  richest,  and  most  productive  of 


its  provinces,  and  the  granary  of  the  state.  Some  writers  honored  this 
coast  with  the  flattering  title  of  soul  of  tlie  republic,  and  jewel  of 
the  empire.  It  was  also  considered  the  very  first  refinement  in  the 
luxury  of  those  days,  to  possess  a  villa  or  estate  on  this  smiling 

The  climate  is  soft  and  salubrious  :  and  the  seasons  follow 
each  other  in  the  gentlest  succession  ;  in  autumn  the  heats  are  exces- 
sive, but  generally  tempered  by  northerly  winds.  There  are  very  few 
diseases  peculiar  to  Barbary  ;  it  has  not  been  visited  by  the  plague 
for  a  period  of  twenty-five  years,  though  raging  with  so  much  vio- 
lence in  the  neighbouring  island  of  Malta,  and  farther  on  at  Gibral- 
ter.  It  is  far  from  being  indigenous  to  this  country,  and  no 
greater  proof  could  be  adduced  of  its  extreme  salu1)vity,  than  that 
of  having  escaped  epidemic  disorders  for  so  long  a  time,  without  the 
many  and  often  ineifectual  precautions  adopted  for  their  prevention 
in  more  civilized  countries.  What,  thereiore,  might  not  be  expected 
in  Barbary,  if  only  a  little  care  was  taken,  to  avoid  the  introduction 
of  disease  i 

This  immense  coast,  extending  from  the  Atlantic  ocean  to  Alex- 
andria in  Egypt,  more  than  two  thousand  miles,  and  from  north  to  south 
nearly  five  hundredin  some  parts,  comprehends  the  ancient  Mauritania, 
Numidia  and  Lybia  ;  the  country  of  the  Massili,  Getuli,  and  Gara- 
mantes.  All  these  states,  which  attained  a  flourishing  condition  under 
independent  governments,  w  ere  successively  conquered  by  the  Roman 
arms,  and  continued  to  share  the  various  fortunes  of  the  empire  until  the 
reign  of  Valentinian  III.  A.  D.  428.  when  Count  Boniface,  disgustedby 

*  What  a  striking  and  melancholy  contrast  to  the  above,  is  exhibited  by  the  following 
extract,  representing  the  state  of  Africa  after  the  invasion  of  the  Vandals  :  "  Many  of  the 
most  flourishing  and  populous  cities  with  which  it  was  filled,  were  so  entirely  ruined,  that 
uo  vestiges  remained  to  point  out  where  they  were  situated.  That  fertile  territory  which 
sustained  the  Roman  empire,  still  lies  in  a  great  measure  uncultivated  ;  and  that  province 
which  Victor  Vitensis  in  his  barbarous  Latin  called  speciosilas  lotius  terree Jlorenlls,  is 
now  the  retreat  of  banditti."- — Robertson's  Charles  V.  Vol.  I.  p.  240. — Ed. 


the  intrigues  of  the  court  and  ingratitude  of  his  master,  became  a  traitor; 
and  calling  in  the  aid  of  the  Vandals,  who  had  already  desolated  a 
great  part  of  Europe,  the  arms  of  those  cruel  fanatics  soon  triumphed 
over  the  degenerate  descendants  of  Rome.  Contemporary  authors 
have  left  us  a  detailed  account  of  the  disasters  which  marked  the 
progress  of  this  dreadful  invasion.  They  found  a  country  well  cultivated, 
the  ornament  of  earth  and  of  nature.  There  was  no  part  of  this  fine 
region  that  could  escape  the  rage  of  its  barbarous  conquerors  :  the 
vines  were  pulled  up  by  the  roots,  trees  cut  down,  and  houses  destroyed. 
In  order  that  the  unfortunate  inhabitants  should  have  no  means  of 
existing  in  the  country,  they  obliged  the  prisoners  to  declare  where 
treasures  were  concealed,  and  the  number  of  discoveries  made  in  this 
way  only  seemed  to  increase  their  avidity  for  more.  Not  only  were  all 
the  public  edifices  and  temples  razed,  but  whole  cities  left  without  a 
single  inhabitant.  It  is  related,  that  when  any  strong  places  refused 
to  surrender,  the  invaders  would  collect  an  immense  number  of  pri- 
soners under  the  walls,  and  having  put  them  all  to  the  sword,  left 
the  bodies  above  ground  to  infect  the  atmosphere,  and  thus  gain,  by 
this  shocking  stratagem,  what  their  arms  could  not  effect.* 

The  Emperor  Justinian  having  strengthened  his  own  government 
by  wise  laws  and  liberal  institutions,  wishing  to  revive  the  splendor 
of  the  throne  by  reconquering  the  finest  provinces  of  the  empire,  lost 
through  the  imbecility  of  his  predecessors,  selected  the  great  Belisa- 
rius,  who  entered  Africa  at  the  head  of  a  large  army.  Finding  the 
Vandals  weakened  by  internal  divisions,  and  enervated  by  sloth, 
he  experienced  very  little  ditficulty  in  subduing  their  chief,  Gelimer. 

Several  victories  were  followed  by  the  triumphant  entiy  of  Beli- 
sarius  into  Carthage;  and  for  a  time,  at  least,  this  fine  country  was 

*  111  noticing  the  exterminating  effects  of  the  wars  which  desolated  Africa,  from  the 
arrival  of  the  Vandals  until  the  expedition  of  Belisarius,  Procopius,  a  contemporary  histo- 
rian observes  :  "  Africa  was  so  entirely  dispeopled,  that  you  niight  travel  several  days  in 
it  without  meeting  one  man  ;  and  it  is  no  exaggeration  to  say,  that  in  the  course  of  the 
war  which  ensued  on  the  arrival  of  Belisarius,  five  millions  of  human  souls  perished."— AV. 


destined  to  be  governed  by  its  old  masters;  bnt  as  Robertson  justly 
observes,  great  men  can  form  and  matnre  an  infant  people,  bvit 
they  cannot  restore  the  vigour  of  youth  to  old  and  corrupted  nations.* 
The  empire,  enfeebled  by  its  prodigality,  and  torn  with  internal  dis- 
cord, was  fast  hurrying  towards  its  ruin,  and  being  no  longer  able  to 
make  its  authority  respected,  or  prevent  foreign  encroachments, 
Africa,  which  had  suffered  a  century  from  the  extortions  of  Greek 
prefects,  fell  under  the  dominion  of  the  caliphs,  whose  new  religion 
enabled  them  with  its  usual  auxiliary,  the  sword,  to  extend  their 
empire  from  the  banks  of  the  Tigris  to  the  western  extremity  of  this 
great  continent.  An  open  country,  without  fortresses  or  tioops  to 
defend  it,  was  not  likely  to  oppose  any  very  formidable  resistance  to 
the  victorious  successors  of  Mahomet.  In  the  course  of  time,  the 
new  conquerors  who  continued  to  possess  Barbary,  detached  them- 

*  This  profound  remark  of  the  Scottish  historian,  has  been  enlarged  upon  by  Chateau- 
briand, in  a  passage  of  his  Itineraire.  Its  ingenious  turn- of  thought,  and  depth  of  reflection, 
have  seldom  been  exceeded  by  this  charming  writer.  As  it  includes  a  well  merited  tribute 
of  applause  to  the  persecuted  Belisarius,  whose  singularly  heroic  character  is  greatly 
enhanced  by  the  comparatively  dark  age  in  which  he  lived,  and  as  the  truly  great  cannot 
be  too  frequently  held  up  for  example,  I  hope  to  be  excused  for  giving  the  original. 
"  Bélisaire  au  reste  étoit  digne  de  ces  succès.  C'étoit  un  de  ces  hommesqui  paroissent  de 
loin  à  loin  dans  les  jours  du  vice.  Pour  iuterrompre  le  droit  de  prescription  contre  la 
vertu.  Malheureusement  ces  nobles  ames  qui  brillant  au  milieu  de  la  bassesse,  ne  produi- 
sent  aucune  revolution.  Elles  ne  sont  point  liées  aux  affaires  humaines  de  leur  temps  ; 
étrangères  et  isolées  dans  le  present,  elles  ne  peuvent  avoir  aucune  influence  sur  l'avenir. 
Le  monde  roule  sur  elles,  sans  les  entrainer;  mais  aussi  elles  ne  peuvent  arréter  le  monde. 
Pour  qui  les  ames  d'une  haute  nature  soient  utiles  à  la  société,  il  faut  qu'elles  naissent  chez 
un  peuple  qui  conserve  le  gout  de  l'ordre,  de  la  religion  et  des  moeurs,  et  dont  le  genie  et 
le  caractére  soient  en  rapport  avec  sa  position  morale  et  politique.  Dans  le  siécle  de  Beli- 
saire,  les  èvénemens  étoient  grands  et  les  hommes  petits.  C'est  pourquoi  les  annales  de  ce 
siécle,  bien  que  remplies  de  catastrophes  tragiques,  nous  revoltent  et  nous  fatiguent.  Nous 
ne  cherchons  point,  dans  l'histoire,  les  revolutions  qui  maitrisent  et  écrasent  les  hommes, 
mais  les  hommes  qui  commandent  aux  revolutions,  et  qui  soient  plus  puissans  que  la  for- 
tune. L'universe  bouleversé  par  les  Barbares  ne  nous  inspire  que  de  l'horreur  et  du 
mépris  ;  nous  sommes  éternellement  et  justement  occupés  d'une  petite  querelle  de  Sparte 
et  d'Athénes  dans  un  petit  coin  de  la  Greece." — Itin.  Voi.  IL  p.  272. — Ed. 


selves  from  the  Saracens  of  the  East,  creating  an  emir,  who  was 
from  that  time  considered  as  entirely  independent  of  the  caliphs,  and 
other  Mahometan  rulers. 

The  present  territory  of  Algiers  was  the  Mauritania,  Tingitana, 
or  C.^SARiENSisof  the  Romans.  The  names  of  Jugurtha,  and  Massa- 
nissa,  are  familiar  to  all  the  readers  of  Roman  history;  and  Juba,  its  last 
king,  bravely,  according  to  the  philosoi)hy  of  that  day,  put  an  end  to 
his  own  existence  on  losing  the  battle  of  Thapsus,  fought  against 
Julius  Csesar  ;  whose  enemies  he  joined  in  the  African  war,  which 
ended  by  the  conqueror  of  Pharsalia  declaring  Mauritania  a  Roman 
colony.  It  was  afterwards,  during  the  reign  of  Claudius,  divided 
into  two  provinces,  the  Tingitana,  and  Casariensis,  from  the  cele- 
brated city  of  Julia  Caesaria,  noticed  by  Dr.  Shaw,  and  other 

Referring  to  that  part  of  its  modern  history,  out  of  which  the 
piratical  system  has  sprung,  it  will  be  sufficient  for  our  present 
purpose  to  state,  that  the  Saracen  chief  Eutemi,  who  styled 
himself  king  of  Algiers  in  the  beginning  of  the  sixteenth  century, 
alarmed  at  the  progress  of  the  Spanish  army,  during  the  admi- 
nistration of  the  celebrated  Cardinal  Ximenes,  which  had  already 
become  masters  of  Oran,  called  in  to  his  assistance  two  famous 
pirates.  Home  and  Hayradin,  the  terror  of  whose  names,  at  the  above 
period,  extended  from  the  Dardanelles  to  the  Straits  of  Gibralter. 
The  infamy  of  their  depredations,  united  with  talents  of  no  common 
cast,  gave  rise  to  a  belief,  that  their  views  had  a  much  greater  scope 
than  mere  piracy  :  this  was  amply  proved  in  the  end.  The  ambitious 
Horuc  came  to  Algiers  with  live  thousand  men,  where  he  was  received 
as  a  liberator  ;  but  he  soon  after  caused  the  credulous  Eutemi  to  be 
secretly  assassinated,  and  immediately  after  made  himself  master  of  the 
city.  This  was  followed  by  driving  the  Spaniards  out  of  Barbary, 
the  conquest  of  Tremesan  and  several  other  states  :  nor  did  much  time 
elapse,  before  his  fleets,  more  like  those  of  a  great  monarch  than  a 
petty  chief,  began  to  infest  the  coasts  of  Italy  and  Spain.      Wearied 



Avith  a  reign  which  exciiided  all  repose,  some  oi'  his  subjects  applied 
for  succour  to  the  king  of  Spain,  who  made  a  very  spirited  attempt 
to  liberate  them  and  European  commerce  from  so  great  a  tyrant  ;  but 
unfortunately,  the  elements  favoured  Horuc,  and  baffled  the  scheme 
for  that  time. 

The  Spaniards  were,  however,  more  successful  on  a  fatine  occa- 
sion, when  Comares,  governor  of  Oran,  having  united  his  forces  with 
those  of  the  dethroned  sherif  of  Tremesan,  completely  routed  the 
army  of  Barbarossa;  who,  being  overtaken  in  his  flight,  met  the 
punishment  due  to  his  crimes.  His  brother  Hayradin  succeeded  him 
with  thesameshareof  talentami  ambition.  Thefameof  this  man's  actions 
made  so  great  a  noise,  that  Solyman,  emperor  of  the  Turks,  offered 
him  the  command  of  his  fleet,  as  the  only  person  who  was  capable 
of  opposing  the  celebrated  Andrea  Doria.  Hayradin,  also  surnamed 
Barbarossa,  soon  after  his  accession  to  power,  took  possession  of 
Tunis  by  stratagem.  Driven  thence  by  the  victorious  arms  of  Charles 
the  Fifth,*  he  fled  to  Bona,  and  embarking  there  for  Constantinople, 
terminated  his  piratical  career  some  years  after  in  the  Turkish  capital. 

In  an  age  so  favourable  to  the  success  of  upstart  adventurers, 
Barbary  was  not  long  without  falling  a  prey  to  the  rapacity  of  a  new 
chief:  this  was  found  in  the  person  of  Dragut  Rais,  who  had  for 
.some  time  exercised  the  profitable  pursuit  of  piracy  all  over  the 
Mediterranean  ;  and  though,  at  first,  only  secretly  encouraged  by  the 
Porte,  he  was,  in  the  end,  openly  assisted  with  the  co-operation  of 
Sinan  Bashaw,  in  expelling  the  knights  of  Malta  from  Tripoli,  in 
1551.  The  success  of  this  enterprize  was  soon  followed  by  the  com- 
plete re-establishment  of  the  Porte's  influence  as  far  as  Morocco,  which 
has  never  acknowledged  its  sovereignty. 

For  many  years  after,  the  three  regencies  of  Tripoli,  Tunis,  and 
Algiers,  were  supplied  with  governors,  and  a  proportion  of  troops 
from  Constantinople.     In  progress  of  time,  however,  several  flagrant 

*  For  an  account  of  that  celebrated  expedition,  the  reader  is  referred  to  Robertson's 
History  of  Charles  N .—Ed. 


abuses  were  found  to  arise  fiom  this  mode  of  sending  chiefs  ;  and 
when,  upon  any  occasion,  they  became  too  intolerable  at  Algiers,  the 
janizaries  sent  deputations  to  Constantinople,  for  the  double  purpose 
of  complaint,  and  solicitation  to  have  another  appointed  in  their 
place.  When  once  the  complaints  of  the  soldiery  were  listened  to,  the 
future  chiefs  named  by  the  Porte,  were  little  more  than  ambassadors  ; 
till,  at  length,  in  one  of  those  commotions  so  frequent  at  Algiers, 
the  Ottoman  Pasha  was  quietly  put  on  board  a  ship,  the  captain  of 
which  received  directions  for  him  to  be  landed  at  Constantinople. 
Since  that  time,  all  the  power  of  election  has  remained  in  the  hands 
of  the  Janizaries. 

The  original  stipulation  with  these  chiefs,  of  acknowledging  the 
Grand  Seignor  as  their  sovereign,  and  paying  him  a  yearly  tribute, 
it  is  hardly  necessary  to  add,  has  long  since  become  a  dead  letter,  ex- 
cept when  these  marauders  have  found  it  convenient  to  obtain  the 
countenance  and  support  of  their  nominal  master  ;  and  then  a  well- 
timed  present  has  seldom  been  thrown  away  upon  the  disinterested 
despot  of  Turkey. 

A  late  writer,  after  detailing  the  principal  events  which  have 
led  to  the  nefarious  and  unlawful  establishments  of  these  execrable 
governments,  concludes  by  the  following  very  just  observation  :  "  thus, 
Barbary,  after  experiencing  the  most  extraordinary  revolutions;  and 
after  holding,  at  different  periods,  a  very  conspicuous  place  in  the  poli- 
tical world,  has  degenerated  into  a  permanent  receptacle  for  licensed 
piracy;  for  though  the  Barbary  powers  have  assumed  to  themselves, 
all  the  consequence  of  independent  sovereignties,  and  are  honored 
with  the  presence  of  accredited  ministers  from  some  of  the  most  dis- 
tinguished states  in  Europe  ;  yet,  from  their  total  disregard  of  those 
laws  which  other  nations  have  held  sacred  and  inviolable,  and  from 
their  unwarrantable  system  of  exacting  tribute  as  the  terms  of  their 
forbearance  ;  collectively,  they  still  are  to  be  considered  in  no  better 
light,  than  as  a  nation  of  free-booters,    which  the  jealousy,  or  rais- 

p  2 


taken  policy  of  more  powerful  states  have  hitherto  prevented  them 
from  destroy  in  ij."'^* 

The  history  of  the  Barbary  states,  however  varied  by  events,  ex- 
hibiting an  almost  unexampled  series  of  invasions,  conquests,  and 
atrocities,  does  not,  as  many  have  very  properly  observed,  possess 
either  the  interest  or  importance  excited  by  that  of  more  civilized 
nations  ;  where  noble  sentiments  are  seen  combined  with  feelings  of 
honorable  ambition.  The  history  of  this  country  furnishes  instances 
of  ardent  passions,  criminal  designs,  and  dreadful  crimes  ;  but  we 
look  in  vain  for  those  enlarged  views,  heroic  actions,  and  glorious 
results,  which  can  alone  render  the  study  of  history  either  useful  or 

The  regency  of  Algiers  includes  above  six  hundred  miles  of  sea 
coast,  between  the  river  Melooia,  which  sepaiates  it  from  Morocco^ 
and  the  Zaine,  its  eastern  boundary  ;  while  its  extreme  breadth,  from 
the  capital  to  the  country  of  Dates,  does  not  exceed  one  hundred  and 
eighty  .t  It  is  bounded  on  the  west  by  the  kingdom  of  Fez,  the  chain 
of  the  Atlas  and  Bikidelgerid  on  the  south,  Tunis  on  the  east,  and 
the  Mediterranean  sea  on  the  north. 

The  Dey's  absolute  domination  extends  four  days  journey  from 
the  capital.  Beyond  that,  until  you  reach  the  Biludelgerid,  is  inhabited 
by  wandering  tribes,  who  merely  pay  tribute  when  the  army  takes 
its  annual  tour  through  the  country. 

*  Historical  Memoirs  of  Barbary,  1816. 
t  Dr.  .Shaw,  whose  book  derives  a  great  portion  of  its  value  from  the  circum- 
stance of  no  other  traveller's  having  ever  minutely  described  the  same  ground,  or  per- 
haps gone  over  it,  only  allows  four  hundred  and  sixty  miles  length  to  the  territory  of 
Algiers;  and  in  this  he  has  been  followed  by  several  other  writers.  Yet  by  the  reader's 
referring  to  the  map,  he  will  immediately  perceive  the  extent  of  this  error,  there 
being  between  the  jVIelooia  and  Zaine,  no  less  than  eleven  degrees  of  longitude,  making 
in  all  six  hundred  and  forty-nine  miles.  I  confess,  it  would  be  absurd  for  any  person, 
in  our  present  ignorance  of  this  part  of  Africa,  and  total  want  of  an  accurate  survey 
of  the  coast,  to  bring  forward  geographical  descriptions,  which  there  are  no  certain 
means  of  substantiating. — Ed. 

RIVERS    OF    ALGIERS.  109 

The  regency  is  divided  into  four  provinces,  Mascara,  Algiers, 
Titterie,  and  Constantina.  Labez  is  a  mountainous  district  which 
pays  tribute  ;  and  Biscara  is  another  poor  tributary  country 
in  tlie  kingdom  of  Zeb.  Between  Algiers  and  Bugia  to  the  south, 
are  the  mount  tins  of  Couco,  inhabited  by  the  Azagui,  a  ferocious 
people  whom  the  Deys  have  never  reduced  into  complete  subjection. 
Towai'ds  Fez  is  tlie  little  desert  of  Angad,  much  frequented  by  beasts  of 
prey  and  ostriches.  Previous  to  reaching  the  lesser  Atlas  there  is  a  large 
tractof  country  called  Tell,  from  thence  commences  thecountry  of  Dates. 

The  most  considerable  river  in  this  part  of  Africa  is  the  Melooia, 
the  ancient  Malva,  a  part  of  which  is  navigable  for  small  ve.ssels. 
Besides  this  there  are  .several  minor  streams  west  of  the  capital,  of 
which  the  Shellif  and  Hamiman  are  the  most  conspicuous  ;  while  its 
eastern  side  is  profusely  watered  by  the  Yisser,  Boberack,  Zowah,  Sei- 
bouse,  and  Zaine.  A  place,  called  the  Seventy  Sources,  rising  in  the 
Atlas  towards  the  Desert  of  Angad,  is  spoken  of  as  one  of  the  greatest 
curiosities  to  be  found  on  the  whole  territory  of  Algiers.  The  country 
abounds  in  springs,  and  besides  the  range  of  the  great  Atlas  which 
runs  through  the  Algerine  states  from  east  to  west,  there  are  several  other 
mountaiiis,  such  as  Gibbel  Auress,  Mons  Aurasia  of  the  ancients,  the 
mountains  of  Trara,  forming  its  western  confines  towards  Tremecen, 
and  Mas-Affran,  the  Jugura,  Gibbel  Deera,  &c. 

The  principal  cities  are  Algiers,  containing  about  one  hundred 
and  twenty  thousand  souls  ;  Constantina,  with  a  population  of  one 
hundred  thousand;  Tremisan,  once  the  capital  of  a  great  kingdom, 
but  now  reduced  to  iusigniticance  ;  Bona,  which  has  an  excellent 
bay  and  strong  castle  ;  Oran,  a  large  and  populous  town  with  a  tole- 
rably good  roadstead,  and  within  a  few  miles  east  of  which  there  is 
a  fine  bay  capable  of  receiving  the  largest  fleets.  Tenez,  at  one 
time  the  capital  of  a  rich  and  beautiful  kingdom  ;  Boujeiah, 
which  is  very  strong,  and  possesses  a  much  larger  port  than  Algiers, 
though  not  quite  so  secure;  Mersalquivir,  a  place  of  some  conse- 
quence; and  Shersliell,  where  there  is  also  good  anchorage  ;    Arzew. 


celebrated  for  its  extensive  salt  pits,  the  finest  in  the  world  ;  El-cal- 
lah,  renowned  for  its  great  market  and  manufactures  of  shawls  and 
carpets  ;  Bleeda,  a  populous  town  in  the  interior  ;  and  also  Gigeri 
on  the  sea  coast:  the  territory  of  which  is  extremely  mountainous,  and 
the  inhabitants  considered  the  most  savage  and  ferocious  race  in  Bar- 
bary.  All  those  christians  who  happen  to  be  wrecked  on  this  coast, 
are  invariably  made  slaves  of.  There  are  various  other  large  towns 
and  populous  districts  in  this  fine  country,  many  of  which  have  scarcely 
been  visited  by  any  European  traveller.  It  is  hoped,  however,  that  the 
time  is  not  far  distant,  when  we  shall  have  something  more  than  gar- 
bled information  and  uncertain  conjectures  to  gratify  our  curiosity  about 
so  interesting  a  quarter  of  the  world.  For  the  present,  it  is  of  more  im- 
portance to  enable  the  reader  to  form  a  tolerably  correct  idea  of  its 
manners  and  customs. 

Travelling  in  the  interior  is  attended  with  many  difficulties, 
owing  to  there  being  no  bridges;  and  as  to  roads,  they  would  clash 
with  the  policy  of  the  government,  by  facilitating  the  progress  of  an 
enemy,  and  opening  a  trading  intercourse  between  the  people  ;  which, 
strange  paradox  !  it  is  the  interest  of  the  Dey  to  suppress. 

Notwithstanding  the  amazing  number  of  fine  cities  containing 
all  that  was  splendid  or  beautiful  in  Roman  art,  which  each  of  the 
African  colonies,  and  particularly  Mauritania,  possessed,  the  exter- 
minating fury  of  its  various  invaders  have  left  comparatively  a  very 
small  part  of  its  monuments  standing,  to  gratify  the  curiosity  of  the 
modems.  The  few,  however,  which  remain,  amply  serve  to  confirm 
those  ideas  we  are  taught  to  entertain  of  their  former  magnificence,  by 
contemporary  historians.  The  total  impossibility  of  exploring  this 
country  while  in  the  hands  of  its  present  inhabitants,  renders  it  probable 
thatweshallyetseemany  years  passaway,  before  any  adequate  notion  can 
be  formed  of  the  extent  of  those  treasures  which  it  no  doubt  contains. 
Until  the  happy  period  of  opening  the  mine  arrives,  it  is  the  province 
of  travellers  to  point  out  where  the  hidden  treasures  are  concealed. 

Of   medals  an   infinite    variety   are   continually   found  in    the 

REMAINS    OF    A    MOORISH    CITY.  Ill 

Algerine  provinces  :  those  of  Punic  and  Carthaginian  origin,  are 
distinguished  by  great  beauty  of  design  and  uncommon  spirit  in  the 
figures.  Who  has  not  admired  the  celebrated  head  of  Ceres,  vulgarly 
supposed  to  be  that  of  Dido,  also  peculiar  to  the  coins  of  Syracuse  ? 
The  horse  on  its  reverse  is  in  general  equally  spirited  with  the  head. 
Those  medals  bearing  a  lion,  with  a  Punic  inscription  underneath, 
which  has  hitherto  baffled  the  most  learned  antiquaries,  is  with 
reason  supposed  to  be  anterior  to  the  former,  but  in  point  of  correct 
drawing  and  exact  imitation  of  nature,  nothing  can  exceed  their 
execution.  Great  quantities  of  cameos,  bronzes,  and  imperial  coins  are 
continually  found,  and  if  not  destroyed  by  the  superstitious  zeal  of 
the  Arabs,  are  brought  into  Algiers,  and  sold  to  the  different  consuls. 
How  truly  gratifying  it  would  be  to  the  whole  European  public,  were 
it  in  the  power  of  any  tourist  to  explore  this  part  of  Africa,  and 
ascertain  what  there  is  remaining  of  Lambese,^  Thubann,Cartera,  and 
Rusicadu,  of  which  Pliny  gives  so  high  an  idea,  also  of  Sana-Muni- 
vipium,  so  celebrated  in  the  age  of  Augvistus.  The  ancient  Tusca  is 
now  called  Zaine,  after  the  river  on  whose  banks  it  is  built.  Tipasu 
is  at  present  known  by  the  name  of   Tlassul,  and  both  are  mere 

*  Ur.  Shaw  thinks  he  discovered  the  remains  of  this  great  city  some  leagues  eastward 
of  Constantina,  in  the  Tezzoute  or  Erba  of  the  Moors.  Of  this  part  of  Algiers  he  gives 
the  following  interesting  description  :  "  The  mountains  of  Auress,  to  the  southward  of 
Constantina,  are  a  knot  of  eminences  running  into  one  another,  with  several  little  plains 
and  vallies  between  them.  Both  the  higher  and  the  lower  parts  are  generally  extremely  fer- 
tile, and  are  esteemed  the  garden  of  the  kingdom  :  they  are  about  a  hundred  and  thirty 
miles  in  circuit,  and  all  over  them  are  spread  a  number  of  ruins  ;  the  most  remarkable  of 
which  are  those  of  L'Erba,  the  Lambese  of  the  ancients.  These  ruins  are  nearly  three 
feag^z^e-s  in  circumference  ;  and  amongst  others,  consist  of  magnificent  remains  of  several 
of  the  city  gates  :  these,  according  to  a  tradition  of  the  Arabs,  were  four  in  number,  and 
the  city  could  send  forty  thousand  armed  men  out  of  each.  There  are  still  also  (o  be  seen 
the  seats  and  upper  part  of  an  amphitheatre  ;  the  frontispiece  of  a  beautiful  temple  of  the 
Ionic  order  dedicated  to  Esculapius  ;  a  small  but  elegant  mausoleum  erected  in  the  form 
of  a  dome,  supported  by  Corinthian  columns  ;  and  a  large  oblong  chamber,  with  a  great 
gate  on  each  side,  intended,  perhaps,  for  a  triumphal  arch.  These,  and  several  other  edi- 
fices of  the  like  nature,  sufficiently  shew  the  importance  of  this  city  in  former  times." — Ed. 


villages.  There  are  some  remains  of  Siga,  and  of  Pontns  Divini, 
mentioned  by  Strabo.  At  Dugga  are  seen  vast  ruins,  amongst  the 
rest  a  temple  of  marble,  supposed  to  have  been  dedicated  to  the 
apotheosis  of  Trajan.  The  small  city  of  Andalouse ,  founded  by 
the  Moors  who  were  driven  out  of  Spain,  is  still  in  existence; 
shewing  the  fondness  which  even  these  people  had  for  keeping 
np  the  remembrance  of  their  lost  country.  At  Shershell  is  sup- 
posed to  be  seen  the  remains  of  Julia  Cissaria,  the  ruins  con- 
sist of  large  cisterns,  mosaic  pavements,  columns,  &c.  Arzew  is 
the  Arsenaria  of  antiquity.  But  the  most  interesting  spot  in  this 
country,  is  Cirta,  now  Constantina,  and  once  the  capital  of  Massa- 
nissa,  one  of  the  most  beautiful  situations  in  all  Africa,  and  full  of 
the  finest  remains.*  At  Medraschem  is  seen  a  stupendous  fabric,  sup- 
posed to  be  the  tomb  of  Syphax  and  other  Numidian  kings.  In  this 
ruin  the  Arabs  fancy  that  great  treasures  are  buried  ;  but  being  guarded 
by  the  black  spirits,  they  cannot  get  possession  of  them.  There  are 
also  very  extensive  ruins  on  the  mountains  of  Conco  Lahez,  but  these 
are  supposed  to  be  of  Arabic  origin.  The  whole  country,  in  fact, 
exhibits  innumerable  traces  of  what  it  was  in  better  times  ;  and  con- 
tiasted  with  its  present  degraded  situation  only  serves  to  heighten  our 
regret,  at  the  lamentable  change  in  its  destiny. 

Algiers,  which  many  liave  confounded  with  Ctesaria,  is  now  gene- 
rally supposed  to  be  the  Jomninm  of  antiquity,  the  former  having  had 
a  fine  port,  which  could  not  exist  at  Algiers  in  those  days  :  as  the 
most  accurate  observations  prove  it  to  have  been  an  island  called 
Al  Guisars,  which  the  Arabs  joined  to  the  main,  giving  it  the  addi- 

*  Poiret,  a  French  traveller,  who  visited  the  Algerine  territory  in  1789,  has  the  fol- 
lowing remark  on  this  city  :  "  Nous  entrames  ensuite  dans  le  province  de  Gigiri,  qui  n'offre 
rien  de  remarquable  ;  il  n'en  est  pas  de  raeme  de  Constantina  capitale  de  la  province  du 
meme  nom.  Cette  ville  offre  partout  aux  curieux  des  precieux  restes  de  son  ancienne 
magnificence.  On  ne  peut  se  prqmener  au  milieu  de  ses  colonnes  renversées,  de  ses  tem- 
ples detruit  sans  éprouver  un  sentiment  douloureux  qui  nous  porte  à  pleurer  sur  le  rivage 
de  temps  et  les  miseres  humaines." — Ed. 

MODE    OF    BUILDING.  113 

tional  appellation  of  Gezlr  bene  Mozana,  from  the  family  who 
founded  the  city.  By  the  Moors  and  Turks  it  is  styled  Aljelzir  Algu- 
zie,  Algiers,  the  warlike. 

The  position  of  this  place  is  remarkably  strong,  and  it  is  defended 
by  several  very  formidable  batteries  :  that  of  the  Round  Castle  is  bomb 
proof;  those  of  Rabat  Baker,  which  defend  the  port,  are  built  with 
great  solidity,  and  even  elegantly  formed.  The  castle  oiSit  Alcolett  has 
also  great  command  over  the  water.  The  Star  Battery,  and  that  of 
the  Emperor,  are  chiefly  usefol  against  a  besieging  enemy  by  land. 
A  deep  ditch  surrounds  the  city  walls,  the  lower  parts  of  which  are  in 
many  places  composed  of  marble.  The  Casserbach,  and  Castle  of 
Alcasabar,  in  the  city,  are  both  very  fine  fortifications,  and  have 
generally  large  garrisons.  There  are  usually  four  or  five  thousand 
men  to  work  the  guns  in  case  of  sudden  assault  ;  but  nothing  can 
exceed  their  ignorance  of  artillery  and  bad  management  of  cannon. 
It  should  be  observed,  that  a  land  force  would  have  many  advantages 
over  a  maritime  one  in  the  attack  of  Algiers,  owing  to  the  positions 
afforded  by  the  surrounding  hills,  many  of  which  command  the  town 
and  its  works. 

This  city,  with  its  white-washed  houses,  rising  in  amphitheatric 
order  one  above  another,  affords  the  inhabitants  a  fine  prospect  of 
the  sea,  and,  as  already  obsei-ved,  is  extremely  beautiful  as  you  approach 
it  by  water.  Tlie  charm  dissolves,  however,  most  effectually  on  enter- 
ing the  town,  where  there  is  nothing  to  excite  admiration.  The  streets 
are  so  excessively  narrow,  that  in  some,  two  persons  can  scarcely  walk 
abreast  each  other.  This  strange  style  of  building  is  thought  to  arise 
from  its  affording  a  better  shade,  and  more  protection  in  case  of  earth- 
quakes; by  one  of  which  Algiers  suiFered  considerably  in  1717.  From 
the  streets  being  concave  and  rising  on  each  side,  the  greatest  inconve- 
nience arises  to  men  and  animals  in  passing  through  them  ;  for  when  a 
Moor  passes  on  horseback,  you  are  obliged  to  get  close  up  by  the 
houses  to  prevent  being  trampled  under  foot.*   When  M.  de  la  Con- 

*  Paris,  ^' la  plus  belle  ville  du  monde  I"  is  in  many  places,  as  far  as  relates  to  foot 



damine  first  saw  the  fine  pavement  which  ornaments  the  sides  of  every 
street  in  London,  lie  exclaimed,  "  O  happy  country  I  where  even  those 
who  go  on  foot  are  thought  of."  There  are  no  shops  in  Algiers  worth 
looking  at.  The  rain  water  is  received  into  cisterns,  and  there  is  a  large 
fountain  or  resen^oir,  whose  water  is  conveyed  by  an  aqueduct,  and 
thence  profusely  distributed  all  over  the  city  in  conduits  made  for  the 

There  are  nine  great  mosques,  and  fifty  smaller  ones  in  Algiers; 
three  public  schools,  with  several  bazars  and  market  places.  Its 
finest  public  buildings  are  those  of  the  five  Casserias,  which  serve 
as  barracks  for  the  soldiery  ;  there  are  also  five  lock  up  houses  for 
the  slaves,  near  which  is  a  market  for  their  sale  ! 

The  Pascialick,  or  Dey's  palace,  has  two  great  courts,  which  are 
surrounded  with  spacious  galleries,  supported  by  two  rows  of  marble 
columns  :  its  interior  ornaments  chiefly  consist  of  mirrors,  clocks,  and 
carpets.  There  are  several  taverns  in  the  city  kept  by  Christian 
slaves;  and  these  are  often  frequented  even  by  the  Turks  and  Moors. 
There  is,  however,  no  convenience  for  sleeping;  so  that  those  who 
enter  Algiers  from  the  country,  are  obliged  to  lodge  at  the  house  of 
some  friend.  European  merchants  visiting  this  place,  hire  apart- 
ments in  the  houses  of  Jews. 

The  level  country  round  the  town  on  its  land  side  extends  about 
four  leagues,  when  it  becomes  mountainous.  The  immediate  vicinity  of 
Algiers  is  supposed  to  contain  no  less  than  twenty  thousand  vineyards 
and  gardens;  while  the  beauty  of  its  environs  is  by  no  means  inferior 
to thoseof  Richmond,  Chantilly,  or  Fiesole;*  butitseflect  is  destroyed 

passengers,  very  little  better  than  the  African  city.  And  notwithstanding  the  very  liberal 
remarks  and  imaginary  witticisms  of  its  bombastic  editors  about  the  smoke  of  London,  I 
doubt  after  all  if  it  is  not  somewhat  less  intolerable  than  a  Parisian  pave. — Ed. 

*  A  lofty  eminence  within  three  miles  of  Florence,  and  which  should  be  visited  by 
all  those  who  are  desirous  of  enjoying  one  of  the  most  enchanting  prospects  in  Italy.  The 
town,  which  does  not  at  present  contain  much  more  than  a  thousand  inhabitants,  was  for- 
merly a  large  capital  ;  but  lost  its  importance  on  the  foundation  of  Florence,  to  which  its 
inhabitants  were  transferred.  Its  Etruscan  wall  and  amphitheatre  are  still  particularly  well 
worthy  of  antiquarian  research  and  observation. — Ed. 


when  we  reflect  on  the  people  into  whose  possession  so  fine  a  country 
has  fallen.  The  landscape  is  truly  delightful,  if  only  seen  in  a  passing 
and  rapid  glance  :  but  when  the  eye  rests  on  it,  the  barrenness  and 
aridity  of  many  spots  are  disclosed,  shewing  the  contempt  of  its  bar- 
barous inhabitants  for  agriculture  and  cultivation,  the  place  of  which 
they  supply,  by  dedicating  themselves  to  war  and  plunder. 

From  the  foregoing  chapter,  intended  to  give  some  idea  of  the 
history  and  geographical  position  of  this  countiy,  the  reader's  curiosity 
is  naturally  led  to  a  consideration  of  its  various  productions. 




Fossils,  Minerals,  and  other  natural  Productions  of  Barbary.. — Trees  and 
Vegetables.— The  Lotus  and  Palm.  Tree.—Domsetic  Animals.— The  Barb, 
Camel,  and  Dromedary. —  Wild  Animals.— Birds,  Reptiles,  Scorpions,  and 

It  is  a  singular  fact,  in  the  natural  history  of  Barbary,  that  its  sur- 
face exhibits  less  appearance  of  violent  changes,  than  most  other 
parts  of  the  globe.  Nor  have  the  encroachments  of  the  sea  beea 
by  any  means  so  conspicuous  on  this  continent,  as  that  of  Europe. 
The  northern  shore  of  Africa  is  generally  about  the  same  height 
from  the  level  of  the  sea,  as  Spain  and  Italy. 

Hitherto  iron  and  lead  are  the  principal  metals  which  have  been 
discovered  :  the  fonner,  which  is  the  most  common,  is  strongly  im- 
pregnated with  clay,  to  which  it  gives  a  dark  yellow  tinge,  the  sandy 
particles  turning  black.  Many  have  asserted,  that  the  great  Atlas 
abounds  in  gold  ;  but  as  yet,  this  is  mere  theory.  It  being  once  pro- 
posed to  the  Bey  of  Tunis,  to  open  mines  there,  he  very  philosophi- 
cally replied,  that  gold  and  silver  had  caused  the  ruin  of  America  ; 
that,  having  no  use  for  those  metals,  where  was  the  necessity  of  search- 
ing for  them  I  Tliis  moral  lesson  concluded,  by  his  highness  ob- 
serving, that  it  is  much  better  to  leave  the  precious  metals  in  the 
bowels  of  the  earth,  where  nature  had  intentionally  concealed  them  I 
Thus,  unexpectedly  corroborating  the  opinion  of  Horace, 

Aurura  irrepertum,  et  sic  melius  situm 
Cum  terra  cfelat,  spernere  fortior. 

SPRINGS    AND    HOT    BATHS.  117 

Quàm  cogere  humanos  in  usus 
Omne  sacrujn  rapiente  dextra.* 

Various  marbles,  jasper,  and  porphyry,  are  also  found  here, 
though  not  in  great  quantities  ;  vermilion  is  more  abundant,  being 
found  at  a  place  called  Zekker.f  There  is  also,  in  this  neighbourhood,  a 
small,  but  very  transparent  crystal  called  Salenites;  and  the  surround- 
ing country  abounds  in  a  soapy  earth,  which  is  used  in  the  baths  to 
give  whiteness  to  the  skin.  Towards  the  range  of  the  Atlas,  the 
mountain  soil  is  calcareous  ;  on  the  southern  side  it  partakes  more  of 
quartz  ;  the  sand  varies,  from  being  white  and  fine,  to  dark  and  fer- 
ruginous. Minerals  and  hot  springs  are  very  numerous.  Besides  those 
of  Haman  near  Bona,  described  by  several  travellers,  the  enchanted 
baths  of  wliich  Shaw  gives  so  interesting  an  account,  are  the  greatest 
curiosities  of  the  kind  any  where  to  be  seen  :  these  springs  rise  a  few 
leagues  eastward  of  Constantina,  in  a  deep  valley  ;  sending  forth  a 
dense  vapour,  almost  insufferable  to  the  smell.  The  chief  ingredients  in 
these  singular  waters,  are  sulphur  and  bitumen  :  they  are  in  a  constant 
state  of  ebullition,  and  rushing  out  of  small  circular  apertures  form  a 
crater,  curiously  incrusted  with  various  calcareous  deposits,  beautiful 
stalactites  of  sulphur,  and  native  vitriol.  The  water  boils  so  intensely 
here,  as  to  raise  the  quicksilver  to  seventy-seven  degrees  of  Reaumur. 
Not  far  from  the  hot  springs  there  are  others  of  an  extremely  cold 
temperature  :  the  ground  in  their  immediate  vicinity,  is  so  ardent,  as  to 
render  it  scarcely  po.ssible  to  walk  over  it  :  and  murmuring  sounds  are 

*  Let  her  the  golden  mine  despise  ; 
For  deep  in  earth  it  better  lies. 
Than  when  by  hands  profane,  from  nature's  store. 
To  human  use  compell'd,  flames  forth  the  sacred  ore. — Carmen  III. 


t  Mr.  Murray  has  furnished  a  very  valuable  chapter  on  the  natural  history  of  this  con- 
tinent, acknowledged  to  be  from  the  pen  of  Mr.  Jameson,  the  very  enlightened  and  scien- 
tific professor  of  natural  history  at  Edinburgh.  See  Chap.  III.  of  Travels  and  Discoveries 
in  Africa. — Ed. 

118  CORAL. 

constantly  heard  to  issue  from  beneath,  so  as  to  give  quite  a  super- 
natural effect  to  the  scene.  These  sources  are  much  frequented  by  the 
Moors,  and  are  said  to  possess  great  virtues  in  all  rheumatic  aftec- 
tions.  There  are  some  Roman  ruins  close  to  them,  supposed  to  have 
been  built  for  the  convenience  of  visitors  in  former  days. 

The  banks  of  several  rivers  are  covered  with  particles  of  salt  and 
nitre  :  the  former  substance  predominates  to  such  a  degree  in  the 
Algerine  territory,  that,  besides  the  various  sources  of  salt  water, 
and  mountains  composed  of  it,  there  are  many  shihhas,  signifying 
fields  covered  with  salt.  These,  in  the  winter,  are  full  of  water, 
and  look  like  lakes,  but  when  dry,  they  assume  all  the  appearance  of 
water-meadows,  covered  with  the  finest  verdure  :  some  have  a  hard 
thick  bottom,  without  any  mixture  of  earth  or  sand  ;  and  this  is  formed 
by  a  stratum  of  crystallized  gravel.  The  salt  collected  at  Arzewis  as 
clear  as  rock  crj^-stal. 

One  of  the  finest  and  most  useful  commercial  productions  of 
this  coast,  is  coral  ;  of  which  immense  cjuantities  are  procured  between 
La  Cala  and  Bona.  This  most  singular  production  comes  from  its  pro^ 
lific  bed  in  three  different  forms:  it  is  a  group  of  living  polypi  when 
first  drawn  up;  and  is  seen  charged  with  clusters  of  little  round  ber- 
ries, and  a  viscous  humour,  which  seems  to  issue  from  the  top  of  the 
branches,  where  they  form  white  drops,  which  some  naturalists  have 
thought  to  be  the  flower  of  coral  :  but  they  are,  in  reality,  living  ani- 
mals, who  exist  in  the  hollow  cells  situated  along  the  internal  part  of 
the  branches.  The  second  form  converts  it  into  the  superb  tree,  which 
soon  becomes  a  hard  mineral  substance.  The  l)olypi  die,  but  their 
death  is  not  a  petrifaction,  it  is  a  species  of  ossification.  Coral  is,  pro- 
perly speaking,  neither  a  stone,  plant,  nor  mineral,  but  rather  a 
metamorphosis  of  innumerable  polypi  :  it  is  like  an  extensive  genea- 
logical tree,  where  the  great  polypus  is  covered  with  its  numerous 
posterity,  the  son  becomes  the  tomb  of  the  father;  and  the  whole 
sharing  one  common  fate,  only  change  their  existence,  for  a  state  of 
more  pei  manence  and  solidity  :  thus  furnishing  rather  an  apt  emblem  of 


those  prudent  sons  of  earth,  who  plod  along  the  frigid  career  of  life, 
only  intent  upon  accumulating  the  means  of  future  repose. 

A  happy  combination  of  warmth  and  humidity,  gives  a  great 
degree  both  of  vigour  and  magnificence,  to  the  vegetable  productions 
of  Barbary.  Although  the  lower  class  subsist  principally  on  barley, 
yet  wheat  and  Indian  corn  is  extremely  abundant.  There  is  also  a 
species  of  chick-peas,  which  is  roasted  in  a  pan,  and  thus  forms  an 
important  article  of  consumption  amongst  the  people.  The  prickly 
pear  abounds  all  over  this  country,  and  what  it  wants  in  picturesque 
beauty,  is  made  up  by  its  utility;  for  while  the  tree  forms  an  im- 
penetrable hedge,  the  fruit  is  excessively  nutritive  and  wholesome. 
Vines  grow  to  a  prodigious  height,  and  passing  naturally  fiom  one 
tree  to  another,  form  beautiful  arbours:  their  size  is  equally  remark- 
able, being  sometimes  as  large  at  the  root,  as  a  tolerably  proportioned 
olive  tree.  The  latter  is  also  a  very  favourite  production  of  northern 
Africa  ;  and  besides  the  immense  quantities  of  trees,  wild  and  culti- 
vated, the  Algerine  territory  produces  a  small  thorny  tree,  which 
bears  a  fruit  equal  in  size  and  flavour  to  the  large  olive  of  Spain. 
Their  pomegranates  are  at  least  three  times  larger  than  those  of  Italy, 
and  the  pumpkins  grow  to  an  enormous  magnitude.  In  addition  to 
all  those  fruits  common  to  Europe,  the  oranges  and  figs  of  this 
country  are  of  the  most  exquisite  flavour;  the  chesnut  tree  does  not 
grow  to  a  very  large  size  in  Barbary,  but  the  nut  though  small  is  very 
sweet.  The  oaks  are  in  some  places,  particularly  on  the  sea  coast, 
of  an  immense  size,  and  extremely  lofty  :  of  these  the  quercus  ballota 
of  naturalists  also  abounds,  its  acorn  being  very  nourishing  to  several 
animals,  and  not  unlike  the  wild  chesnut.  This  important  tree,  so  well 
known  in  Spain,  would  also  be  a  great  acquisition  to  Italy,  into  which 
it  has  not  hitherto  been  introduced.  Amongst  different  species  of  the 
cypress,  there  is  one  seen  in  the  vicinity  of  Algiers,  remarkable  for  its 
unusual  loftiness,  and  pyramidical  form;  the  almond  and  mulberry  tree 
are  also  found  in  great  abundance.  The  indigo  fera  glauca,  yields  a 
valuable  dye;  and  there  is  a  highly  esteemed  medicinal  plant  found 

120  THE    LOTUS. 

in  this  part  of  Africa,  viili^^arly  called  cineraria,  Aviiich  is  considered 
by  the  natives  as  a  sovereign  remedy  in  several  diseases.  Another 
herb,  the  xenna,  furnishes  the  inhabitants  with  the  celebrated  juice 
with  which  their  nails  are  tinged.  Amongst  botanical  plants  is  the 
Scilla  marittima,  the  bulbosa  radicata,  and  dwarf  palm,  which 
yields  an  exceedingly  small  date  ;  also  the  sacchariim  celindricum  and 
agrostis  pungens.  In  the  more  arid  vallies  are  to  be  found  the 
reseda  odorata,  erica  arborea,  and  superb  cactus  ;  all  of  which  afford 
excellent  pasture  for  lambs,  while  they  perfume  the  air  with  grateful 
odours  ;  also  the  laurel  rose,  which  cheers  and  vivifies  the  country, 
when  all  other  flowers  are  dried  up  by  autumnal  heat.  The  hills  are 
covered  with  thyme  and  rosemary,  which  at  once  purify  the  atmo- 
sphere, and  supply  in  many  places  the  deficiencies  of  fiiel  ;  the  traveller's 
sight  is  also  continually  regaletl  with  extensive  tracts  thickly  planted 
with  roses  of  every  hue,  for  the  distillation  of  the  famous  essence  or 
otto  of  roses  so  well  known  in  Europe.  This  fine  climate  has  at  all 
times  been  highly  favorable  to  the  culture  of  sugar  cane;  that  oi' Soli- 
man,  being  considered  the  largest  and  most  prolific  of  any  in  the 
world.  Indeed  this  plant  is  thought  by  many  to  be  indigenous  to  Bar- 
bary,  from  whence,  together  with  Sicily,  it  was  originally  supplied, 
to  the  We-st  India  islands. 

But  the  most  celebrated  tree  in  Africa  is  the  lotus,  equally 
renowned  by  poets  and  naturalists.  Pliny  called  it  the  ornamental 
tree  of  Africa.  Its  Arabic  denomination  is  Seedra.  It  is  the  grand 
symbol  of  eastern  mythology,  and  tree  of  many  virtues  !  The  Brah- 
mins of  the  Ganges  relate  that  Brahma  was  born  in  the  hallowed 
bosom  of  the  lotus  ;  and  Visnou,  emblem  of  the  conservative  prin- 
ciple, is  represented  with  a  lotus  branch  of  the  aquatic  species  ;  indi- 
cating that  every  thing  has  sprung  from  the  ocean.*  It  has  a  consi- 
derable resemblance  to  the  jujube,  but  its  fruit  is  smaller,  containing 
more  substance,  and  of  a  round  form  :    its  colour  is  that  of  saffron 

*  M.  Pluche,  the  author  of  a  most  learned  and  entertaining  book  L'  Histoire  du  del, 
published  above  seventy  years  ago  at  Amsterdam,  but  very  little  known  in  this  country, 

THE    LOTUS.  rZl 

growing  and  becoming  ripe  on  the  tree  lilce  myrtle  berries.  The  negroes 
call  it  Tomberong,  making  a  kind  of  bread  out  of  the  farinaceous  part 
of  the  fruit,  by  exposing  it  in  the  air  for  .some  days  :  and,  when  perfectly 
dry,  pounding  it  in  a  mortar,  the  cruder  particles  are  then  separated 
from  the  meal,  and  these,  when  mixed  with  water,  make  a  cooling  and 
agreeable  beverage.  By  adding  a  little  flour,  and  boiling  it,  this  draught 
may  be  converted  into  a  very  savoury  and  substantial  hasty  pudding. 
The  lotus  is  also  eaten  in  its  natural  state  as  we  do  plumbs;  and  it  is 
not  improbable,  but  that  it  used  formerly  to  be  distilled  into  spirit. 
Pliny  says,  that  it  gave  a  name  to  one  of  the  provinces,  the  inhabi- 
tants of  which,  made  the  lotus  their  principal  food  :  hence  the  famous 
Lotophagi,  who  inhabited  the  vicinity  of  the  Syrtis  Magna,  now 
on  the  coast  of  Tripoly,  between  Ben  gazi  and  Cape  Mesurata.  His- 
torians add,  that  strangers  were  so  well  received  by  these  people, 
that,  after  having  partaken  for  any  time  of  the  lotus,  they  forget 
their  country,  and  were  no  longer  willing  to  abandon  this  hospitable 
shore.  The  companions  of  Ulysses  absolutely  refused  to  follow  their 
master,  who  conducted  them  amongst  the  Lotophagi,  and  persisted 
in  remaining  with  their  new  friends.  The  case  is,  however,  sadly 
altered  in  the  present  day  :  when,  so  far  from  feeling  any  inclination 
to  remain  in  Africa,  those  who  go  there,  particularly  as  I  did,  are 
glad  enough  to  get  away  as  soon  as  they  can. 

The  palm  tree,  another  singular  production  of  this  continent, 
and  frequently  met  with  in  Algiers,  possesses  a  much  greater  share  of 
bark  than  solid  wood,  yet  it  is  extremely  tough  and  difficult  to  break. 
It  requires  thirty  years  to  bring  this  tree  to  maturity  ;  after  which  they 
continue  to  bear  for  sixty,  annually  yielding  from  fifteen  to  twenty 
bunches  of  dates,  weighing  as  many  pounds  :  these  grow  beneath  the 

gives  an  interesting  illustration  of  the  uses  to  which  the  Lotus  was  applied  by  the  early 
people  of  Egypt  ;  and  in  another  part  of  his  work  observes  :  "  Le  Lotus  est  une  espéce  le 
nympheaqui  vientabondammentau  bord  du  Nil,  et  qui  outre  les  secours  que  les  Egyptiens 
tiroient  de  son  fruit,  dont  ils  faisoient  du  pain,  donne  aussi  une  belle  fleur  qui  g'épanouit  le 
matin,  et  se  ferme  le  soir." — Ed. 


122  PEC'ULlARlTIliS    OF    THK    PALM. 

leaves,  which  areali  attached  to  the  tniuk,  and  ijrow  directly  out  of  it 
towards  the  top.  When  the  fruit  is  taken  down,  it  is  enclosed  in 
skins,  by  which  its  flavour  is  better  preserved,  and  ripening-  greatly 
facilitated.  While  on  the  tree,  the  dates  have  a  yellow  tint,  which, 
when  ripe,  changes  to  a  reddish  hue  :  when  gathered,  tliey  ore  as  sour 
as  cyder  apples,  and  it  is  some  time  before  they  acquire  sweetness. 
The  greatest  number  of  palms  in  the  Algerine  territory,  are  found  on 
a  range  of  hills  towards  the  Atlas,  called  Jibhel  Karkaii  ;  hwt  the 
finest  dates,  though  not  so  large  as  the  produce  of  this  quarter,  are 
those  which  grow  in  sandy  soils,  particularly  tlie  Biledidgerid. 

The  various  and  important  uses  of  this  tree  have  already  l>een  described 
by  travellers;  and  when  we  consider  the  quantity  of  fruit  and  lackby  it 
yields,  together  with  its  ultimate  application  of  being  converted  into 
rafters  for  houses,  its  general  utility  does  not  fall  very  short  of  the  lotus. 
The  date  tree  often  grows  to  the  height  of  eighty  and  ninety  feet  ;  and 
nothing  can  be  more  curious,  in  the  way  of  climbing,  than  to  witne^^sthe 
facility  with  which  the  negroes  ascend,  without  having  any  place  what- 
ever on  the  branchless  trunk  to  set  their  feet  :  the  ascent  is  effected  by 
means  of  a  rope  fastened  to  the  body,  and  then  passed  round  the  tree. 
In  this  state  the  climber  supports  himself  with  the  left  arm,  until  the 
rope  is  slipped  up  by  the  right  hand,  when,  by  pulling  it  tight,  he  is 
enabled  successively  to  change  his  position  till  the  top  is  gained.  I  have 
omitted  to  observe,  that  the  palm  also  yields  a  rich  syrup  like  honey, 
which  is  generally  served  up  as  a  great  luxury,  in  all  the  Moorish 
feasts,  given  by  the  higher  orders  :  this  syrup,  if  kept  many  days, 
ferments,  aud  becomes  very  good  lackby.  In  some  places,  the  fibrous 
bark  of  the  tree  is  spun  into  cord  ibr  rope,  and  thread  to  make  sails  : 
while  the  leaves  are  transformed  into  fans,  parasols,  work-baskets,  and 
various  other  ornaments. 

In  opposition  to  the  general  nature  of  plants,  which  do  not  pros- 
per in  the  spot  on  which  similar  ones  have  perished,  the  palm  springs 
up  with  increased  vigour  on  the  ashes  of  its  predecessor.  This  curious 
fact  is  by  the  Italian  traveller  Mariti,  supposed  to  have  furnished 


eastern  mytliologists  witli  the  marvellous  regeneration  of  the  phoenix  ; 
that  term  meaninc,-  palm  tree,  both  in  the  Hebrew  and  Phoenician 

Next  to  the  cocoa  nut  of  India,  and  ))read  fruit  of  the  Friendly 
Islands,  the  palm  tree  is  justly  considered  as  that  which  renders  most 
service  to  humanity  :  enlivening-  the  horrid  surface  of  the  desert,  it 
shields  the  pilgrim  from  the  scorching  rays  of  a  perpendicular  sun  : 
and  feeds  and  refreshes  the  traveller  who  wanders  through  the  dreary 
solitudes.  Independently  of  the  nutriiious  liquid  produced  by  this 
celebrated  tree,  which  may  be  converted  into  wine,  spirit,  or  a  cool- 
ing beverage,  its  fruit  has  often  sustained  caravans,  which,  without 
its  friendly  aid,  might  have  perished  in  the  pathless  waste. 

The  palm  is  also  the  emblem  of  glory,  triumph,  and  the  heroic 
virtues.  The  eloquent  author  of  the  Harmonies  of  Nature,  has  also 
called  it  the  tree  of  the  sun,  Varbre  par  excellence.  Like  the  gnomen 
of  that  great  luminary,  its  leaves  mark  the  days;  while  years  are  repre- 
sented by  the  circles  in  its  trunk.  It  is,  of  all  other  trees,  the  most 
graceful  :  like  the  Egyptian  symbol  of  immortality  tapering  towards 
the  top  until  its  majestic  front  spreads  before  the  face  of  Heaven. 
Ulysses,  wishing  to  explain  the  secret  charm  which  he  felt  on  being 
near  the  beautiful  queen  of  Ogygia,  compared  it  to  the  lively 
transport  he  exjierienced  at  Delos,  on  seeing  the  wonderful  palm 
suddenly  spring  u[>  near  the  temple  of  the  gods. 

This  extraordinary  tree  also  makes  a  conspicuous  figure  in  the 
loves  of  the  plants  ;  having  afforded  a  fertile  source  of  ingenious 
imagery  and  versification  to  Dr.  Darwin.  The  sexes  are  clearly  dis- 
tinct; the  masculine  transferring  the  fruit  and  its  flavour  to  the 
female  plant  :  when  the  husk  containing  the  seeds  and  flowers  of  the 
fruit,  begin  to  open,  a  bunch  is  taken  from  the  masculine  and 
scattered  over  it.  The  impetuous  winds  of  the  north  unite  the  lofty 
cedars  of  Lebanon,  and  the  trembling  zephyrs  of  morn  refresh  the 
fragrant  rose  of  Jerico.  But  the  desolating  blasts  of  Africa  destroy  all 
that  comes  within  their  noxious  influence.     It  is  therefore  necessary, 

R  2 


that  art  and  the  fosterina^  care  of  man,  should  preside  over  the  oliaste 
hitercourse  of  the  prolific  palm. 

Of  domestic  animals,  there  is  no  scarcity  in  Barbary  :  the  cows 
are  smaller  than  those  of  Europe,  and  owing  to  the  want  of  pasture 
land,  do  not  give  much  milk,  which  generally  ceases  with  the  loss 
of  their  calf.  Of  goats  there  is  a  great  variety,  and  some  of  the 
breeds  are  unequalled  by  any  others  in  the  world  ;  their  colour  seldom 
varies  from  pure  white,  which  accounts  for  the  dress  of  the  Bedouins  ; 
while,  from  a  contrary  reason,  that  of  the  Spanish  peasantry  is  com- 
posed of  dark  brown.  One  of  these  species  is  remarkable  for  a  long 
tail  :  the  fat  is  said  to  be  excellent  for  frying  or  making  pastry. 
There  is  another  race,  which  are  as  high  as  a  good  sized  deer,  to 
which  they  bear  some  resemblance,  except  in  the  hair,  which  grows 
long  like  other  goats.  The  tender  mercies  of  the  JMahometan 
religion,  regards  it  as  an  impiety  to  mutilate  these  animals,  while  it 
is  daily  practised  with  perfect  indifference  on  human  beings  !  The 
asses  of  Barbary  are  fully  equal  to  those  of  Egypt,  or  the  Marches  of 
Ancona:  these  faithful  and  persecuted  animals  supply  the  place  of 
landaus  and  Jiacres  to  the  natives  :  their  sonorous  voices  discover 
the  vicinity  of  the  Arabs  at  night.  Their  flesh  is  held  in  the  highest 
estimation  by  the  Moors,  who  are  as  fond  of  a  young  suckling  as  even 
Caius  Alnius  Mecaenas  was  in  the  days  of  Roman  gastronomy.  It  is 
not  to  be  wondered  at,  that  with  sucli  horses  and  asses,  the  Barbary 
mule  should  be  unequalled  :  they  are  more  esteemed  than  the  former, 
on  account  of  their  sure  foot,  and  carrying  a  much  heavier  load. 
Their  resistance  to  fatigue,  and  regular  pace,  also  gives  the  mule  great 
superiority  in  this  country  ;  their  long  step  is  acquired  by  having  their 
legs  extended  and  kept  tied  up  in  that  position  for  some  minutes. 
Dogs  are  hated  by  the  Moors  :  this  accounts  for  the  very  flattering 
appellation  bestowed  so  liberally  on  Christians.  Cats,  on  the  other 
hand,  are  great  favourites,  and  as  beautiful  as  those  of  Angola. 
United  to  their  natural  inclination  for  this  animal,  grave  and  drowsy 
like  themselves,  there  is  a  certain  religious  veneration,  created  by  the 


recollection  of  the  prophet's  tenderness  for  a  cat,  which  he  once  found 
sleeping  in  the  sleeve  of  his  mantle  ;  which,  rather  than  disturb  her, 
he  cut  off  with  his  sabre,  and  with  the  cloak  thus  mutilated,  went  to 
offer  up  his  prayers  at  the  sacred  shrine. 

The  horses  of  Barbary  would  be  fully  equal  in  beauty  and  sym- 
metry to  those  of  Arabia,  if  attended  to  by  the  Moors  with  the  same 
care,  and  like  the  Arab  of  the  desert,  they  made  a  friend  of  this  noble 
animal,  and  placed  their  chief  pride  in  his  superiority  of  condition; 
but  it  is  impossible  to  become  attached  to,  or  sufficiently  careful  of 
them  under  a  despotism  like  that  of  Algiers,  where  no  man  is  sure 
of  keeping  what  he  possesses.  The  horses  employed  in  the  Pasha's 
service,  are  suffered  to  remain  for  whole  days  saddled,  with  their  feet 
bound,  exposed  to  the  heat  of  the  sun,  and  head  hanging  down, 
which  is  only  raised  to  cast  an  ineffectual  look  on  their  indolent 
masters.  They  are  also  generally  broke  in  too  soon  ;  and  this,  in  a 
mountainous  country,  has  the  effect  of  bringing  them  down  long 
before  the  usual  time  :  their  constant  exposure  to  thirst  is  another 
great  cause  of  suftering  to  the  Moorish  horses.  With  all  these  incon- 
veniences, the  Barbary  horse  is  extremely  active,  laborious,  and  patient 
of  fatigue  :  full  of  fire  and  vigour,  he  often  retains  his  powers  to  the 
age  of  thirty  ; — he  is  usually  nimble,  meagre,  and  long  backed,  with 
uncommonly  slight  limbs  :  he  is  not,  however,  by  any  means  quick  iu 
cavalry  evolutions.  Admirably  well  calculated  by  his  natural  impe- 
tuosity for  the  charge,  he  is  stubborn  when  attempted  to  be  trained 
in  the  various  movements  of  European  horsemen  ;  the  barb's  mouth 
is  so  hard,  as  to  require  a  much  stronger  bit  than  that  used  in  Europe; 
the  bridle  is  long,  having  also  a  whip  at  the  end  of  it.  They  are 
frequently  exercised  to  gallop,  with  the  reins  thrown  loosely  over  the 
neck  ;  and  one  of  the  greatest  merits  of  the  horseman  is  to  stop  them 
suddenly  when  at  full  speed.  During  these  equestrian  sports,  it  is 
common  to  see  the  Turkish  horseman  rush  up  towards  a  house,  wall, 
or  tree,  and  when  close  to  it  stop  short:  this  is  sometimes  practised 
towards  friendsby  the  way  of  a  pleasant  joke  ;  into  the  spirit  of  which, 

126  THE    DBSERT    HORSE. 

these  gfallant  g-entlemeii  never  could  persuade  nie  to  enter,  though 
several  attempts  were  made  for  that  purpose.  This  practice  is  of  course 
veryinjurioustothe  horses,andI'have  seen  many  of  tlie  cavaliers  measure 
their  length,  and  like  the  heroes  of  the  Iliad,  bite  the  dust,  in  these 
awkward  attempts  to  display  their  agility.  The  African  horse  never 
walks  or  trots,  his  pace  being  a  constant  gallop  while  in  motion  :  hence 
the  name  of  Barb  is  given  to  race  horses.  Many  celebrated  English 
horses,  than  which  there  are  no  finer  in  the  universe,  except  perhaps,  of  Nubia,  have  been  bred  from  the  barbs.  The  horses  of 
Barbary  are  admirably  calculated  for  perpetuating  the  breeds  but  are 
fitter  to  produce  horses  for  the  course  than  general  work.  The 
mares  are  generally  preferred  by  the  Moors.  Besides  their  being 
lighter,  their  not  neighing  prevents  the  rider  from  being  so  easily 
discovered  ;  and,  on  this  account,  are  more  convenient  for  a  sudden 
attack  or  nocturnal  enterprize. 

The  wild,  or  desert  horse,  is  lean,  ugly,  and  ill  made;  yet  his 
velocity  often  equals  that  of  a  stag  :  he  is  taken  with  great  diflSculty, 
and  for  this  purpose  a  snare  is  generally  used.  Brought  to  Morocco 
or  Algiers,  he  becomes  fat,  and  of  course  looks  better,  but  soon  dies  : 
his  life  is  in  the  freedom  of  the  desert.  This  is  probably  the  mule  of 
Tartary,  of  which  some  naturalists  have  given  an  account.  There  is 
very  little  water  given  to  horses  in  the  hot  seasons  ;  camel's  milk  is 
frequently  supplied,  and  of  this  they  are  remarkably  fond,  it  agreeing 
with  them  extremely  well.  The  nxutilation  of  this  princely  animal  is 
unknown,  and  inadmissible  amongst  the  Mahometans  :  they  say  it 
diminishes  their  strength  and  courage,  and  of  this  they  seem  quite  sure; 
they  are  also  of  opinion  that  it  makes  them  ungrateful  and  vicious: 
this  may  also  be  the  case.  A  lady  complaining  of  a  singer,  ex- 
claimed: "  What  an  ungrateful  man!  it  was  my  uncle  who  made  a 
musician  of  him,  and  he  has  passed  through  the  town,  without  ever 
calling  to  ask  how  he  was  I" 

But  of  all  the  animals  peculiar  to  Africa,  the  camel,  which  they 
emphatically  call  the  ship  of  the  desert,  is  by  far  the  greatest  gift 

THE    CAMEL.  127 

Providence  has  bestowed  on  its  inhabitants,  eitlier  for  the  ordinary 
necessities  of  life,  or  enabling  them  to  traverse  their  immense  regions 
of  sand.  It  is  in  the  desert,  that  our  respect  for  this  animal  is 
redoubled  ;  he  is  so  highly  venerated  by  the  people,  that  they  wash 
themselves  with  the  foam  which  issues  tiom  his  mouth,  and  with 
much  more  reason  than  the  Gentoos,  who  are  besmeared  with  cow- 
dung:  they  style  him  Hagi  Bahn,  Father  of  Pilgrims,  referring  to  the 
honor  he  has  of  carrying  the  presents  of  the  Grand  Seignor  to  Mecca. 
Mahomet  also  permitted  his  entry  into  Paradise,  as  a  reward  for  the 
services  which  his  species  had  rendered  the  prophet. 

The  camel  carries  an  immense  weight,  and  often  receives  a  whole 
family  on  his  back:  it  gives  its  milk,  flesh,  skin,  and  hair;  to  feed, 
clothe,  and  afJbrd  a  covering  to  the  wandering  tribes.  At  night,  it 
shelters  the  weary  traveller  stretched  along  the  sand,  watches  over 
his  slumbers,  and  like  the  faithful  dog,  averts  him  of  the  enemy's 
approach.  His  instinct  enables  him  to  smell  the  distant  water  ;  he 
recognises  the  spot  with  wonderful  precision  :  he  is  the  very  type  of 
patience,  fortitude,  and  perseverance  :  charged  with  a  heavy  load, 
constantly  trav-  lling  over  the  sand,  exposed  to  hunger,  thirst,  and  the 
hottest  rays  of  the  sun,  he  suffers  the  fatigue  and  pain  with  incom- 
parable meekness:  he  lies  down  on  the  burning  sand,  without  betray- 
ing the  least  degree  of  impatience  :  while  at  all  able  to  support  his 
load,  and  continue  the  journey,  he  strains  every  nerve  to  proceed  ;  he 
neither  flags  nor  relaxes,  until  absolutely  worn  out,  when  he  falls,  to 
rise  no  more:  thus  rendering  his  last  breath,  on  the  very  spot  he 
ceases  to  be  useful  ! 

The  camel  is  occasionally  employed  in  the  plough  and  other 
agricultural  pursuits,  like  oxen  or  horses  in  Europe  ;  but  he  is  more 
generally  occupied  as  a  beast  of  burthen.  He  kneels  while  the  load 
is  placed  on  his  back,  and  signifies  that  enough  is  put  on,  either  by 
a  hiss  or  shake  of  the  head.  He  never  stumbles  or  falls.  There  is 
no  necessity  either  to  beat  or  direct  him  :  his  pace  is  slow,  but  he  makes 


long  strides,  and  continues  to  march  fifteen  and  sixteen  hours  follow- 
ing, going  about  two  miles  and  a  half  an  hour.  He  finds  some 
difficulty  in  passing  over  muddy  giound,  on  which,  from  the  peculiar 
form  of  his  feet,  he  is  apt  to  slip.  When  there  are  many  of  these 
animals  travelling  together,  the  drivers  beat  drums,  and  attach  small 
bells  to  the  knees  of  the  leading  camel;  and  if  it  becomes  necessary 
to  quicken  their  pace,  the  Arabs  form  a  kind  of  song,  which  has  the 
immediate  effect  of  cheering  up  the  whole  party,  and  making  them 
redouble  their  pace.  Their  load  generally  extends  from  a  thousand 
to  fifteen  hundred  weight,  but  never  even  .a  half  pound  beyond  his 
exact  burthen.  He  can  abstain  from  water  four  or  five  days,  without 
relaxing  in  his  progress:  satisfied  if  in  that  time  he  is  allowed,  en 
passant,  to  pluck  up  any  roots  or  twigs  that  may  lay  in  his  way.  He 
seems  even  to  like  nettles,  wormwood,  and  the  most  insipid  thistles  : 
collecting  in  a  species  of  sack,  which  he  has  under  his  neck,  the 
barley  and  small  loaves  which  are  given  to  him  on  the  day  of  depar- 
ture, he  goes  on  eating  or  chewing  the  cud  in  his  road.  The  very 
hump  on  his  back  serves  for  his  nourishment,  and  often  in  the  days  of 
hunger  and  starvation  disappears.  Arriving  at  a  well  or  fountain, 
nature  has  wisely  provided  him  with  vessels,  in  which  he  lays  in  a 
stock  of  water  for  several  days,  besides  refreshing  himself  for  the 
time  being  ;  and  the  water  thus  imbibed  has  frequently,  on  the  beast'.s 
dying,  been  the  cause  of  preserving  the  lives  of  travellers.  The  natives 
of  Africa  esteem  camels'  flesh  more  than  that  of  any  other  animal:  to 
me  it  appeared  tough,  but  the  milk  is  excellent,  and  makes  as  good 
cheese,  as  that  of  Pratalino  or  Ronta.* 

Love  alone  gives  to  these  animals,  and  particularly  the  female, 
a  feeling  of  rage  and  violence  :  at  this  season  they  kick  and  bite,  and 
it  is  necessary  to  muffle  them;  a  species  of  bladder  hangs  from  their 
mouth,  out  of  which  issues  a  quantity  of  foam.     They  often  fight, 

*  Two  districts  in  the  Florentine  territory  famous  for  cream  cheese. — £d. 

ADVICE    FROM    AN    ENEMY.  129 

and  their  hostility  affords  as  great  amusement  to  the  Turks  and 
Moors,  as  the  English  derive  from  cock-fighting.*  It  is  curious  to 
see  how  they  jostle  up  against  each  other;  and  how  the  vanquislied 
party  is  followed  by  the  hisses  of  the  bye-standers,  while  applause 
crowns  the  victors,  as  if  Grecian  athletae  or  Roman  gladiators  had 
been  exhibiting. 

The  camel,  peculiar  to  Barbary,  and  belonging  to  the  species  called 
demcl,  is  considered  much  superior  to  that  of  Asia.  The  dromedary, 
of  which  there  are  very  ^ew  kept  in  Algiers,  though  merely  a  variation 
of  the  same  race,  are  much  more  elegantly  formed  than  the  camel, 

*  Having  in  a  former  note  taken  occasion  to  express  iny  opinion  of  that  unmanly 
illiberality  and  rooted  antipathy  constantly  manifested  towards  England,  by  a  large  party 
in  France  ;  but  more  particularly  its  impotent  scribblers,  newspaper  editors,  &c.  I  have 
too  much  patriotism,  not  to  acquiesce  in  the  justice  of  many  errors  and  abuses,  which  are 
proper  subjects  of  animadversion  amongst  our  neighbours.  And  the  national  character 
could  not  appear  more  exalted,  than  in  a  dignified  endeavour  to  profit  by  the  wholesome 
advice  of  our  adversaries.  As,  according  to  a  celebrated  maxim  of  a  Latin  poet,  we  are 
justified  in  deriving  instruction,  even  from  an  enemy  ;  it  is  with  a  feeling  of  this  kind,  I 
shall  anxiously  look  forward  to  the  discontinuance  of  many  barbarous  customs,  which 
only  wait  the  fiat  of  legislative  wisdom  to  be  for  ever  banished  from  our  shores,  as  they 
have  already  been  from  the  mistaken  admiration  of  a  large  majority  of  the  people.  Much 
too,  as  the  sycophantic  author  of  Six  Alois  à  Londres,  and  that  still  more  pitiful  calumniator 
M.  Pillet  has  taught  me  to  despise  him,  I  am  nevertheless  induced  most  seriously  to  recom- 
mend the  former's  sneering  observations  on  the  Gothic  pastime  alluded  to  by  Mr.  Pananti, 
bull-baiting,  pugilism,  the  monopoly  of  brewers,  mode  of  puifing,  lotteries,  and  their  gene- 
ral tendency  to  strike  at  the  very  root  of  public  morals,  &c.  All  of  these  subjecis  are 
most  intimately  connected  with  our  best  interests,  and  particularly  worthy  the  maturest 
■nonsideration  of  the  legislature.  Without  denying  the  impossibility  of  removing  evils  that 
«re  purely  the  offspring  of  circumstances,  which  all  the  wisdom  of  government  could  nei- 
ther foresee  nor  prevent,  or  indulging  in  visionary  schemes  of  moral  and  political  perfec- 
tion, I  humbly  presume  that  in  the  whole  catalogue  of  human  reasoning,  there  is  not  a 
more  legitimate  or  fairer  subject  of  discussion,  than  the  removal  of  evils  which  would  at 
once  add  amazingly  to  the  popularity  of  men  in  power,  and  stability  of  the  government, 
while  its  effects  on  human  happiness  must  be  absolutely  incalculable.  When,  therefore, 
the  principle  of  expediency  loses  somewhat  of  its  present  influence,  let  us  hope  that  legis- 
lation will  assume  its  proper  place  in  society,  and  be  rather  in  advance  of,  than  behind, 
what  the  French  so  emphatically  denominate  ZVs/)riY  du  siede. — Ed. 


bearing  about  the  same  proportion  to  it,  that  a  greyhound  does  to  the 
house  dog.  They  have  a  ring  fixed  to  the  upper  lip,  and  a  cord 
fastened  to  this,  serves  for  guide  and  bridle.  The  velocity  of  this 
animal,  even  after  every  allowance  is  made  for  the  marvellous  stories 
of  the  Arabs,  is  almost  incredible  ;  and  their  figurative  mode  of  giving 
you  an  idea  of  its  celerity  in  travelling  over  the  desert,  has  often 
been  noticed.  They  say,  "  when  you  meet  a  hierie,  and  say  to  the 
rider  salem  alik,  before  he  can  answer  alik  salum,  he  will  be  nearly 
out  of  sight."  Mr.  Jackson,  an  intelligent  English  traveller,  ob- 
serves, in  speaking  of  this  wonderful  animal,  "  a  journey  of  thirty- 
five  days  caravan  travelling  will  be  performed  by  a  Sebayee  in  five 
days  :  they  go  from  Timbuctoo  to  Morocco  in  seven  days.  One  of 
these  animals  once  came  from  Fort  St.  Joseph,  on  the  Senegal  river,  to 
the  house  of  Messrs.  Cabane  and  Depras,  at  Mogador,  in  seven  days." 
The  person  employed  to  conduct  the  desert  camel,  as  he  is  called  by 
the  natives,  is  obliged  to  be  tightly  bound  up,  to  keep  his  head  closely 
covered,  and  sit  on  the  animal  sideways,  in  order  to  prevent  the  effects 
of  the  atmosphere  on  his  face;  and  in  this  posture  he  is  enabled 
to  traverse  the  solitary  waste  of  sand,  almost  with  the  rapidity  of  an 

The  manner  in  which  the  camel  is  formed,  and  which  makes 
it  capable  of  resisting  the  difficulties  of  travelling  in  Africa,  is 
no  less  admirable  than  its  various  other  qualities.  The  elevated 
position  of  his  head  prevents  Ihe  sutFocating  effects  of  those  volumes 
of  sand,  which,  though  generally  in  motion,  passes  along  the  desert 
under  the  camel's  body;  he  also  keeps  his  eyes  half  shut,  and  they  are 
besides  defended  with  thick  eye-lids  and  long  eye-lashes.  The  soles  of 
his  feet  are  remarkably  broad,  and  made  like  little  cushions,  producing 
a  very  trifling  impression  on  the  vaccillating  surface  ;  his  fatigue  is  also 
considerably  diminished  by  advancing  two  common  paces  of  the  horse 
at  a  time:  so  that  while  all  other  animals  find  the  greatest  difficulty  in 
going  over  the  sands  of  the  desert,  it  seems  the  camel's  native  element. 

Amongst  the  wild  beasts  of  Barbary,  none  is  more  common  thaa 


the  boar  ;  but  this  animal  frequently  falls  a  victim  to  the  stronger  beasts 
of  prey,  particularly  the  lion,  whose  mode  of  seizing  it  is  blended 
with  a  wonderful  degree  of  instinct  :  when  discovered  in  its  retreat, 
the  lion  immediately  turns  up  a  circular  mound  all  round  the  spot, 
leaving  a  small  aperture  near  which  it  crouches  down  in  ambuscade. 
When  the  effluvia  proceeding  from  the  lion,  becomes  sufficiently  strong 
to  indicate  its  being  close  at  hand,  the  boar  crawls  towards  the  opening, 
and  suddenly  rushes  out  ;  when  by  a  single  bound,  the  ferocious  enemy 
is  on  its  back,  and  instant  destruction  follows.  Thus  it  is  with  the 
beasts  of  the  field  :  the  strongest,  not  satisfied  with  its  natural  supe- 
riority, must  have  recourse  to  cunning,  in  order  to  destroy  the  weak 
and  feeble  !  The  wild  boar  of  this  country  differs  from  that  of  Italy, 
by  having  the  head  larger,  and  two  long  tusks  inclining  upwards 
from  the  jaw,  which  appear  like  additional  ears.  Porcupines  are 
found  in  great  numbers.  Hares  are  few  and  of  a  diminutive  size  ;  and 
scarcely  any  rabbits  are  to  be  seen.  Game  of  almost  every  kind  is 
abundant.  The  biikker  el  vash,  whose  horns  are  much  shorter  than 
those  of  the  common  ox,  the  body  plump  and  head  more  elevated, 
is  probably  the  buphalus  of  antiquity.  There  is  also  a  goat  called 
lerwe,  of  so  timid  a  nature,  that  if  pursued,  it  will  dash  itself  down 
the  nearest  precipice  :  this  is  the  fugephalm  of  the  ancients.  There 
are  large  flocks  of  the  antelope  running  wild  ;  but  they  are  easily 
domesticated,  and  are  much  liked  by  the  Arabs  for  their  gentleness 
and  docility.  These  beautiful  little  animals  generally  inhabit  the 
borders  of  the  desert,  where  their  facilities  of  escape  are  considerably 
increased  ;  but  beasts  of  prey  usually  follow  their  footsteps  :  neither 
its  innocence  or  speed  is  sufficient  to  secure  the  antelope's  liberty  ;  and 
even  the  dreary  desert  cannot  affi3rd  an  asylum  against  tyranny. 

Amongst  the  most  curious  quadrupeds  of  Barbary,  is  the 
gat  el  hallak,  with  the  ears  of  a  rat  ;  the  lower  part  of  the  skin  white, 
and  all  the  upper  part  a  bright  yellow.  They  also  mentioned  another 
animal,  which  is  said  to  have  the  head  and  horns  of  an  ox  on  the 
body  of  an  ass.     I  did  not,  however,  see  this  non-descript;  and  those 

s  2 

132  THE  hyj:\a. 

who  said  they  had,  were  probably  taken  in  by  the  knowing  ones.  In 
a  certain  country  there  was  once  exhibited  a  zebra,  which  in  reality 
was  only  an  ass,  covered  with  a  skin  of  the  former  animal  :  however, 
a  professor  of  natural  histoiy,  who  went  to  see  it,  stoutly  maintained 
that  it  was  neither  more  nor  less  than  a  real  zebra.  Upon  this  judi- 
cious opinion,  an  ingenious  copy  of  verses  were  composed,  each 
couplet  terminating  with  the  following  burden  :  liC  jirofcsseur  a  (lit 
que  c'étoit  une  zebre,  c'étoit  une  àne  ! 

There  are  no  tigers  in  Barbary  :  those  which  people  take  for  that 
animal  are  panthers.  Towards  the  Atlas  are  found  ferocious  brown 
bears.  The  lions  chiefly  frequent  large  woods  and  forests  :  the  jackall, 
nearly  as  large  as  the  wolf,  an  incessant  prey  to  hunger,  goes  abovit 
the  villages  in  flocks  with  terrific  howling,  frequently  opening  graves 
in  search  of  carcases  to  devour  ;  the  hyaena,  on  the  contrary,  is  always 
alone,  sallying  forth  in  darkness  and  silence,  to  make  war  on  the 
habitations  of  men,  and  on  animals  :  following  the  caravans,  or  other 
parties  of  travellers,  with  eager  eyes,  he  waits  the  moment  of 
assault.  These  animals  have  also  a  peculiar  instinct  in  smelling  the 
newly  buried  at  a  great  distance,  which  they  take  an  early  opportu- 
nity of  tearing  from  their  earthly  mansion  ;  satiating  themselves  on  the 
half  putrified  corpse.  Strange!  that  there  should  be  an  animal  which 
delights  to  feast  on  the  infection  of  the  tomb  !  Hyenas  are  also 
endowed  with  the  instinct  of  associating  together  in  sufficient  numbers, 
to  kill  the  most  formidable  animal  ;  upon  which  they  feed,  and  after- 
wards, drag  it  into  the  recesses  of  the  woods  and  caves  which  thej- 

Both  the  caravans  and  wandering  Arabs  are  obliged,  while  tra- 
velling, to  be  constantly  on  their  guard  against  the  various  beasts  of 
prey  which  follow  their  courses  :  particularly  during  their  halts  at 
night,  when  the  encampment  must  not  only  be  formed  on  the  best 
principles  of  defence,  but  fires  lighted  all  round  :  and  even  these 
precautions  are  sometimes  found  insufficient  to  deter  the  famished  wolf, 
or  greedy  jackall.     The  lion   is,    however,    by  far  the  most  terrific 

LION    HUNTERS.  133 

adversary  met  with  by  the  caravans:  liis  approach  is  announced  by  a 
deep  murmuring,  which  increases  until  it  sounds  like  thunder  ;  thus 
petrifying  the  animals  with  fear  :  and  while  in  this  state,  not  unfre- 
quently  does  the  sovereign  of  the  forest  rush  upon  his  victim,  and 
get  clear  off  in  the  general  confusion,  before  a  single  ball  has  reached 
him.  There  are  regular  lion  hunters  in  several  parts  of  Barbary,  who, 
notwithstanding  its  otFensive  smell  and  excessive  hardness,  live  on  the 
flesh,  from  whicii  even  dogs  will  turn  with  disgust.  There  are  two 
modes  of  killing  the  lion  :  one  is  by  tying  a  cow  or  other  tame  animal 
to  a  tree,  and  watching  near  it  concealed  till  it  attracts  the  lion,  when 
several  shots  are  fired,  and  he  falls  ;  they  do  not,  however,  go  up  to  the 
spot  for  some  time  after,  lest  the  wound  should  not  be  mortal  :  they 
also  form  large  fosses,  which  being  covered  with  slight  bushes  and 
grass,  lets  the  lion  fall  in  directly  he  treads  on  them.  Upon  these  occa- 
sions, his  skin  is  either  put  on  their  horses,  and  carried  along  in 
triumph  ;  or,  like  another  Alcides,  one  of  the  party  throws  it  over  his 

The  ornithology  of  Barbar^-,  like  the  other  departments  of  itsnatu- 
ral  history,  is  yet  open  for  the  illustration  of  the  curious;  and  will,  on 
some  future  day,  furnish  an  ample  field  for  the  gratification  of  science 
and  curiosity.  The  birds  most  commonly  known  at  present,  include 
all  those  peculiar  to  Italy  and  the  rest  of  Europe,  besides  many 
other  species,  a  few  of  which  are  about  to  be  noticed.  The  quail  and 
starling  is  found  in  prodigious  numbers,  particularly  the  former,  which 
is  sometimes  seen  to  cover  a  large  space  in  the  atmosphere;  and  as  a 
bird  of  passage,  supplies  the  opposite  shore  of  the  Mediterranean 
with  a  great  luxury  towards  the  autumn.  There  are  also  in  this 
country,  at  least  twenty  species  of  the  pigeon  :  the  stork  is  preserved 
with  the  same  respect  as  in  Holland.  Fowls  of  the  capon  kind,  are 
exceedingly  abundant.  I  a4so  observed,  while  at  Algiers,  larks  of  a 
reddish  hue,  which  are  not  seen  in  Italy.  The  common  duck  of 
Barbary,  has  the  head  generally  white,  a  red  beak  and  dark  body, 
except  the  wings,  which  are  often  variegated  with  light  coloured  spots. 

134  THE    OSTRICH. 

Amongst  tlie  rare  birds,  is  the  karahur,  or  ash  coloured  falcon,  and 
crow  of  the  desert,  having  the  beak  and  legs  red  like  the  partridge  : 
this  bird  is  called  graub,  and  is  of  a  much  larger  size  than  the  Euro- 
pean crow.  The  snharag,  is  like  our  magpie,  but  having  a  most  repul- 
sive note.  The  houbarry,  whose  gall  is  considered  as  a  sovereign 
remedy  for  diseases  of  the  eye,  is  also  remarkable  for  its  cunning 
mode  of  evading  the  sparrow-hawk.  The  capsa,  a  sparrow  larger 
than  ours,  with  a  shining  breast,  and  ruddy  coat  like  the  lark.  The 
melody  of  this  bird's  note  far  surpasses  that  of  our  nightingale  or  lin- 
net; but  when  placed  in  a  cage  it  loses  all  its  harmony. 

The  Desert  of  Angad  abounds  with  ostriches,  which  are  seen  in 
large  flocks.  At  a  distance  they  look  like  troops  of  Bedouins,  often 
creating  alarm  in  travellers.  At  the  beginning  of  winter  the  large,  or 
as  it  is  called  camel-ostrich,  sheds  its  finest  feathers,  which  are  dili- 
gently collected  by  the  Arabs.  This  is  the  only  bird  of  the  feathered 
tribe  whose  foot  is  composed  of  two  claws,  in  which  it  also  resembles 
the  camel,  as  well  as  in  the  mode  of  carrying  its  head.  The  coat 
looks  more  like  a  skin  than  otherwise,  while  its  wings  seem  given  to 
support  an  equilibrium,  which  without  them,  must  be,  from  his 
unwieldy  size,  constantly  endangered.  In  fact,  this  extraordinary 
bird  appears  to  have  hitherto  puzzled  the  acutest  naturalists  in  their 
systematic  divisions  of  the  feathered  race.  One  mode  of  hunting 
the  ostrich,  is  by  forcing  M'hole  flocks  to  run  against  the  wind,  until 
their  strength  fails,  when  in  attempting  to  return  they  are  shot  by  a 
party  of  thirty  or  forty  hunters  employed  for  that  purpose.  It  is  said 
to  be  very  ludicrous  and  amusing.* 

*  A  traveller  in  speaking  of  this  singular  bird,  observes,  "  When  the  ostrich  runs,  it 
has  a  proud  and  haughty  look  ;  and  even  when  in  extreme  distress,  never  appears  in  great 
haste,  especially  if  the  wind  is  with  it.  Its  wings  are  frequently  of  material  use  in  aiding 
its  escape,  for  when  the  wind  blows  in  the  direction  that  it  is  pursuing,  it  always  flaps  them: 
in  this  case  the  swiftest  horse  cannot  overtake  it;  but  if  the  weather  be  hot,  and  there  is  no 
wind,  or  if  it  has  by  any  accident  lost  a  wing,  the  difficulty  of  outrunning  it  is  not  so 
great." — Ed. 

THE    SCORPION.  135 

This  country,  owing  to  its  uncultivated  and  thinly  inhabited 
state,  naturally  abounds  in  reptiles  of  various  kinds,  many  of  which 
are  venomous.  It  was  probably  a  serpent  of  the  boa  species,  which 
is  said  to  have  impeded  the  army  of  Regulus,  and  required  its  warlike 
machinery  to  destroy  it.  Amongst  a  great  variety  of  insects,  none  is 
more  annoying  than  the  fly  of  Barbary:  a  swarm  of  them  has  been 
often  known  to  sting  a  horse  until  it  has  fallen  under  the  loss  of  blood 
occasioned  by  their  repeated  attacks.  But  the  most  dangerous  rep- 
tile of  this  country  is  the  scorpion,  of  which  there  are  various  kinds, 
diflering  in  colour,  from  black  and  brown,  to  yellow  and  white,  like 
that  of  the  Brazils.  They  are  much  larger  than  those  seen  in  Italy  ; 
and  their  poison  is  so  powerful,  that  many  persons  die  annually  from 
its  effects.  Their  sting,  although  excessively  painful,  is  not,  however, 
mortal  in  the  months  of  July,  August,  or  September.  They  are  also 
more  dangerous  in  towns  than  the  country.  From  the  facility  with 
which  this  reptile  introduces  itself  into  houses,  and  even  beds,  the  inha- 
bitants are  obliged  to  be  very  cautious  in  detaching  the  latter  together 
with  their  curtains  from  the  walls.  There  are  persons,  who  like  the 
Psylli  of  old,  have  some  method  of  charming  the  scorpion,  by  which 
it  becomes  perfectly  harmless  for  the  time.  -- 

The  natives  frequently  amuse  themselves  by  a  curious  kind  of  war- 
fare, which  is  created  by  shutting  up  a  scorpion  and  a  rat  together  in  a  close 
cage,  when  a  terrible  contest  ensues.  I  have  seen  this  continue  some- 
times for  above  an  hour  :  it  generally  ends  by  the  death  of  the  scor- 
pion ;  but  in  a  little  time  after  the  rat  begins  to  swell,  and  in  violent 
convulsions,  soon  shares  the  fate  of  his  vanquished  enemy.  It  is 
also  a  favourite  diversion  with  the  Moors,  to  surround  one  of  these 
reptiles  with  a  circle  of  straw,  to  which  fire  is  applied  ;  after  making 
several  attempts  to  pass  the  flames,  it  turns  on  itself,  and  thus  becomes 
its  own  executioner.* 

The  most  destructive  part  of  the  insect  tribe,  and  which  is  justly 

*  This  very  singular  fact  is  fineiy  alluded  to  by  Lord  Byron,  in  his  Giaour. — Ed. 

136  LOCUSTS. 

considered  as  the  greatest  scourge  in  Africa,  remains  to  be  noticed  : 
this  is  the  locust  :  it  is  much  larger  than  the  horse-fly  of  Italy;  sbme 
have  the  wings  marked  with  brown  spots,  while  the  body  is  of  a 
bright  yellow.  They  are  dry  and  vigorous,  like  other  insects  inhabit- 
ing the  desert.  What  is  called  the  red  skipper  of  this  tribe,  does  by 
far  the  most  injury  to  vegetation.  They  generally  begin  to  appear 
early  in  May,  spreading  themselves  over  the  plains  and  vallies  to 
deposit  their  eggs  :  which,  in  another  month,  sends  forth  the  young, 
when  they  immediately  associate  in  prodigious  numbers,  often  form- 
ing a  compact  phalanx,  which  covers  several  acres  of  ground.  In  this 
order  they  continue  a  direct  course,  and  with  amazing  rapidity  con- 
sume every  particle  of  fruit,  vegetables,  and  corn  that  may  lie  in  their 
way  :  thus  destroying  all  the  hopes  of  the  husbandman  and  farmer. 
On  these  occasions  the  whole  population  of  the  district  through 
which  the  insect  army  passes,  is  occupied  in  devising  the  best  means  of 
getting  rid  of  such  unprofitable  visitors:  for  this  purpose,  ditches  are 
dug  and  filled  with  water  ;  at  other  times  recourse  is  had  to  large  bon- 
fires ;  but  all  is  to  no  purpose  with  these  devastators,  whose  chiefs  seem 
to  direct  them  with  the  precision  of  regular  troops,  constantly  stimu- 
lating them  to  the  pas  de  charge,  and  from  their  unremitted  progress, 
appear  as  if  they  were  continually  repeating  en  avant  !  Without 
ever  stopping  or  turning  aside,  they  rush  with  impetuosity  into  the 
flames  until  they  are  fairly  extinguished  by  their  numbers.  They  also 
fill  the  ditches:  and  when  these  obstacles  are  removed,  the  rear 
advance  over  their  bodies,  rendering  it  impossible  for  any  part  of 
those  before  to  retreat,  if  ever  so  well  inclined  :  they  are  thus  left 
no  alternative  between  death  and  victory  :  the  living  passing  with 
perfect  indifference  over  the  suffocated  bodies  of  their  companions, 
the  journey  is  pursued  without  any  intermission.  Two  or  three  days 
after  the  first  passage,  other  bodies,  equally  large,  and  prompted  by 
the  same  destructive  intrepidity,  follow  in  their  steps  :  devouring  the 
bark  and  branches  of  those  very  trees  which  their  predecessors  had 
already  stript  of  leaves  and  fruit.     "  For  they  covered  the  face  of  the 


wliole  earth,  so  that  the  land  was  darkened  ;  and  they  did  eat  every 
herb  of  the  hind,  and  all  the  frnit  of  the  trees  which  the  hail  had  left  ; 
and  there  remained  not  any  green  thing  in  the  trees,  or  in  the  herbs 
of  the  field  through  all  the  land  of  Egypt."     Exodus,  ch.  x.  15. 

Having  continued  this  predatory  warfare  for  nearly  a  month, 
and  laid  waste  the  whole  country,  they  reach  their  natural  growth  : 
this  is  the  signal  for  their  undergoing  a  partial  metamorphosis,  by 
changing  their  coat  ;  an  operation  which  is  etfected  by  fixing  them- 
selves on  bushes  or  rocks,  and  it  does  not  require  more  than  ten 
minutes  before  they  are  enabled  to  appear  in  their  new  dress  ;  laying 
for  a  short  interval  after  this,  in  a  state  of  languor,  the  heat  of  the 
sun  soon  gives  fresh  vigour  to  their  wings,  by  removing  the  humidity, 
and  they  are  once  more  restored  to  their  original  activity.  Taking 
a  higher  flight,  their  numbers  darken  the  air,  while  the  sound  of 
their  wings  is  heard  for  several  miles.  The  unchangeable  steadi- 
ness with  which  this  singular  tribe  act  in  concert  during  their  irrup- 
tion, seems  to  imply  a  regular  direction,  rather  than  its  being  the 
mere  effect  of  instinct. 

AVhenever  a  country  is  condemned  to  the  above  terrible  visita- 
tion, nothing  can  exceed  the  alarm  created  amongst  the  inhabi- 
tants; and  with  good  reason,  for  woe  to  the  district  over  which 
they  pass  !  All  is  destroyed  in  little  more  than  the  space  of  an 
hour  :  they  do  not  suffer  even  a  leaf  or  blade  of  grass  to  remain  ; 
destroying  every  appearance  of  vegetation.  Dviring  their  short  stay, 
they  have  all  the  inquietude  and  instability  of  hunger:  wild  as 
the  country  they  inhabit,  it  is  impossible  for  any  one  to  get  near 
them.  Often,  while  following  their  dilatory  course,  they  push  on  too 
far,  and  are  precipitated  into  the  sea  ;  at  other  times,  a  sudden  north 
wind  destroys  them  by  millions,  when  the  country  is  immediately 
covered  for  many  miles  by  their  putrid  bodies,  which  is  frequently 
the  source  of  pestilential  diseases.  They  have  also,  upon  more  than 
one  occasion,  when  highly  favoured  by  the  weather,  found  their 
way  to  the  coasts  of  France,  Spain,  and  Italy. 



If  the  Moors  were  less  indolent,  or  less  blinded  by  superstition,  much 
might  be  done  towards  the  total  destruction  of  these  voracious  insects, 
when  their  eggs  are  tirst  laid  ;  but,  in  addition  to  their  favourite  doc- 
trine of  predestination,  which  accelerates  many  a  serious  calamity, 
the  Arabs  and  negroes  firmly  believe  in  the  existence  of  a  bird  called 
the  samarmog;  which  destroys  the  locust,  as  storks  do  serpents  and 
other  reptiles  :  with  this  fabulous  notion,  the  boys  who  happen  to 
take  up  one  in  their  hand,  cry  out  samarmog  ;  and  on  its  trembling, 
or  making  any  effort  to  escape,  they  immediately  fancy  it  must  j)ro- 
ceed  from  hearing  the  name  of  their  implacable  enemy  pronounced. 
It  is  also  related,  that  the  Arabs  go  to  Korazan,  the  country  of  the 
samarmog,  and  ìjringing  a  pitcher  of  w  ater  back  to  their  own  dwellings 
it  attracts  the  bird,  who  is  thus  induced  to  come  and  make  war  on  the 

Whenever  any  district  is  attacked,  as  already  observed,  the  whole 
population  unites  in  every  possible  effort  to  dislodge  the  enemy;  but 
seeing  the  inutility  of  these  efforts,  they  not  only  cease  any  longer  to 
torment  themselves  at  the  disappointment,  but  very  wisely  endeavour 
to  turn  their  misfortune  into  a  source  of  some  advantage  :  this  is 
effected  by  beating  the  bushes  and  trees  on  which  the  locusts  settle,  and 
on  their  falling  off,  putting  them  into  sacks  prepared  for  the  purpose  : 
they  are  then  boiled,  and  after  being  dried  on  the  terrace,  are  con- 
sidered as  very  good  eating.  I  have  tasted  some  that  w  ere  fried  in  a 
pan,  and  broiled  ;  they  are  by  no  means  unpalatable,  and  something 
like  sprats,  though  not  very  wholesome  :  the  natives  seem  to  swallow 
them  with  a  particular  zest.  This  insect  is,  I  believe,  the  acrides  of 
the  ancients;  and,  according  to  some  historians,  ministered  to  the 
wants  of  the  anchorites  in  the  Thebaid. 

DESERT    OF    ANGAD  139 


Desert  of  Angad. — Hardships  in  crossing  the  Sahara  or  Great  Desert. — 
Caravans. —  The  Simoom. —  Various  Phenomena  attending  it. — Columns  of 
Sand. —  The  Oasis. —  Temple  of  Ammon. — Consolations  in  the  Desert.— 
Mount  Atlas. — Country  South  of  it,  ófc. 

Although  the  Desert  of  Angad,  which  is  principally  situated  on 
the  Algerine  territory,  is  not  to  be  compared  to  that  of  Lybia  or  the 
Great  Sahara  ;  yet,  possessing  the  same  character,  though  on  so  small 
a  scale,  it  serves  to  give  some  idea  of  the  large  ones,  which  impress 
such  peculiar  features  on  the  whole  face  of  this  interesting  countr3^ 

These  immense  deserts,  which  are  supposed  to  occupy  nearly 
half  the  surface  of  this  vast  continent,  have  been  justly  called  oceans 
of  sand  :  they,  too,  have  their  gulphs,  bays,  and  islands  ;  and  are 
sometimes  agitated  by  an  undulating  motion  so  as  nearly  to  approach 
the  same  effect  on  water.  Here  also,  as  at  sea,  are  encountered  the 
tornado  and  tempest,  while  the  first  appearance  of  caravans  are  like 
ships  seen  on  the  horizon.  Hordes  of  predatory  Arabs  scour  the 
interminable  space,  as  pirates  do  the  ocean:  weeks  and  months  are 
passed  on  them,  during  which  stars  are  the  traveller's  guide  ;  and,  as 
on  the  still  more  unconfined  element,  the  eyes  are  often  anxiously 
directed  towards  the  destined  port,  with  longing  expectation.  The 
vehemence  of  a  burning  wind  which  prevails  on  these  vast  plains, 
raising  volumes  of  sand,  which  leave  frightful  chasms  and,  vortexes 
below,  has  such  a  striking  resemblance  to  the  sea,  that  its  common 
epithet  among  the  Afiicans  is.  El  bahar  bilia  maa,  the  sea  without 

T  2 

140  HORRORS    OF    THE    DESKRT. 

On  these  dreary  wastes,  no  trace  of  vegetation  or  culture  is  to  be 
seen  :  here  it  is  in  vain  for  the  traveller  to  expect  shade  from  the 
vertical  sun  ;  no  bird  is  there  to  cheer  by  its  note  the  solemn  stillness 
of  the  desert.  The  light,  as  observed  by  the  great  Button,  is  here 
more  gloomy  than  the  darkness  of  night  ;  it  only  enables  you  to  see 
the  void  that  surrounds  you,  and  immensity  of  space  which  separates 
you  from  a  habitable  country.  If  at  night  you  wander  from  the 
caravan  to  breathe  a  little  air,  your  own  sighs  are  all  that  disturb  the 
death-like  silence  of  the  desert  :  the  traveller  is  obliged  to  lie  down  in 
the  open  air,  and  often  without  covering  ;  uncertain  whether  the  follow- 
ing day  is  not  ushered  in  with  an  illness  which  may  lead  to  his  being 
abandoned  by  his  companions.  Itis  sometimes  necessary  to  abstain  from 
sleep  for  thirty  hours  together,  to  avoid  the  dangers  which  threaten 
you  ;  and  during  all  that  time,  pursue  the  harassing  march.  It  is  a 
luxury,  when  crossing  the  desert,  to  imbibe  the  dews  of  night  ;  and 
when  it  rains,  to  spread  your  garments  for  the  purpose  of  receiving 
the  salutary  drops.  Arriving  at  a  small  reservoir,  or  a  solitary  well, 
the  words  "  drink  and  depart!"  salute  the  eye,  as  a  warning  that  ban- 
ditti may  be  lying  in  wait  near  the  spot.  Hillocks  of  sand  are  thrown 
up  on  one  day  to  answer  as  a  direction  for  the  following,  but  a 
whirlwind  has  dispersed  them,  and  the  caravan  is  thus  frequently 
turned  out  of  its  course  :  the  stars,  too,  are  often  so  obscured  by 
clouds,  that  there  is  no  possibility  of  seeing  them. 

Another  source  of  painful  anxiety  : — the  disconsolate  traveller 
arrives  at  a  well,  nearly  suffocated  with  sand  and  thirst,  but  he  finds 
it  dry  I  He  hears  the  famished  beasts  of  prey,  interrupt  the  horrid 
silence,  while  meditating  on  the  frightful  length  of  his  remaining 
jouniey,  and  difficulty  of  reaching  the  end  of  it.  His  mind  is  terrified 
with  the  apprehension  of  dying  by  heat,  hunger,  thirst,  and  debility; 
or  of  being  devoured  by  the  monsters  who  prowl  about  these  dreadful 
solitudes.  Man  is,  as  it  were,  lost  in  this  empty  and  unlimited  waste, 
in  which  he  only  beholds  one  vast  sepulchre. 

The  most  dreadful  stories  are  related  of  the  innumerable  perils 

HORRORS    OF   THE    DESERT.  141 

and  disasters  to  which  those  who  travel  over  the  African  deserts,  are 
exposed.  In  the  time  of  Leo  Africanus,  there  was  a  public  monu- 
ment which  commemorated  the  deplorable  end  of  two  people  :  one  a 
conductor  of  camels,  and  the  other  a  merchant  ;  who  paid  the  former 
ten  thousand  drachms  of  gold  for  his  last  cup  of  water,  after  which 
both  perished  ! 

Notwithstanding  the  facility  of  joining  a  caravan,  that  has  also 
its  inconveniences  :  unable  to  make  any  delay,  the  slow  and  enfee- 
bled are  not  considered  :  if  taken  ill,  you  are  abandoned,  and  a  strayed 
companion  is  never  looked  after. 

Let  any  one  figure  to  himself,  says  M.  Denon,  in  his  Travels 
through  Egypt,  the  fate  of  an  unfortunate  being,  panting  with  fatigue 
and  hunger,  all  his  limbs  swelled,  the  throat  parched  up,  who  respires 
with  difliculty  the  burning  atmosphere  which  consumes  him  ;  he  hopes 
that  a  tew  moments  of  repose  may  revive  his  drooping  frame  ;  he 
stops,  and  sees  the  companions  of  his  journey  pass  on,  after  having 
solicited  their  assistance  in  vain. — Personal  calamity  has  shut  every 
heart  : — without  once  turning  back,  and  with  eyes  fixed  on  the  ground, 
each  follows  in  silence  the  footsteps  of  him  who  goes  before  ;  all  have 
passed,  and  are  nearly  out  of  sight  ;  the  exhausted  traveller  attempts 
to  follow,  but  his  limbs  fail  him  ;  neither  the  perils  nor  terrors  of  his 
situation  are  sufficient  to  rouse  him  into  activity.  The  caravan  is 
gone  :  he  now  only  sees  it  as  a  moving  speck  on  the  horizon  ;  at 
length  it  vanishes  !  The  unhappy  man  casts  his  eyes  around  ;  what 
do  they  encounter? 

A  wild  expanse  of  lifeless  sand  and  sky  I 

They  are  then  turned  upon  himself:  he  closes  them  to  shut  out  the 
dreary  void  which  surrounds  him  ;  he  only  hears  his  own  sighs  ;  all 
that  he  has  of  existence  belongs  to  death.  Alone,  isolated  in  the 
world,  he  is  about  to  yield  his  last  breath,  without  a  single  ray  of 
hope  to  cheer  the  dying  hour  ;  and  his  corse,  consumed  by  the  ardent 
surface,  will  soon  only  leave  the  whitened  bones  to  serve  as  a  guide 


to  the  uncertain  steps  of  future  travellers,  who  tempt  the  melancholy 
way,  and  have  dared  to  encounter  the  same  perils! 

That  which  some  people  emphatically  style  the  hoirible  wind  of 
the  desert,  is  another  of  those  phenomena,  peculiar  to  tlie  climate  of 
Africa,  which  is  justly  calculated  to  annoy  and  alarm  the  most  reso- 
lute traveller.  This  wind,  which  is  known  as  the  scirocco  in  the 
Mediterranean,  is  called  samiel,  by  the  inhabitants  of  Syria,  kasmiii 
in  Egypt,  and  simoom  by  the  people  of  Africa.  It  generally  continues 
three  days;  but  has  on  some  occasions  been  known  to  last  from  seven 
to  twenty-one  :  commencing  usually  about  one  o'clock,  it  blows  in 
sudden  gusts,  and  moderates  towards  sun-set. 

The  burning  vapour  is  mostly  preceded  by  a  red  meteor,  which 
extends  a  considerable  way  over  the  horizon.  The  natives  are  pre- 
pared for  its  coming  by  a  strong  smell  of  bitumen,  which  proceeds 
from  the  red  cloud  :  this  increases  gradually  in  magnitude,  until  it 
bursts  on  the  atfrighted  inhabitants,  who  on  the  tirst  setting  in  of  this 
dreadful  wind,  cry  out,  "  Lay  down  close  to  the  ground,  behold  the 
.simoom  !"  On  those  occasions  it  is  necessary  to  keep  the  mouth  closed 
for  .some  minutes,  and  if  possible  apply  a  handkerchief  steeped  in 
vinegar  to  the  nose;  to  avoid  imbibing  the  first  effects  of  the  pestife- 
rous blast,  which  often  suffocates  in  the  absence  of  those  neces.sary 
precautions,  or  gives  rise  to  a  perpetual  asthma,  in  those  who  indulge 
the  fatal  curiosity  of  contemplating  that  terrible  phenomenon.  Nature 
has  taught  animals  to  guard  against  it,  by  keeping  their  heads  close  to 
the  ground,  when  it  first  comes  on.  Those  who  have  suffered  least 
from  fatigue,  are  best  able  to  meet  the  simoom  :  it  frequently  occurs 
that  while  this  wind  continues,  several  of  a  caravan  lose  all  signs  of 
animation,  remaining  in  that  state,  until  artificial  means  are  employed 
for  the  purpose  of  bringing  the  sufferers  back  to  life.  When  this  wind 
begins,  the  upper  part  of  the  atmosphere  assumes  a  bright  yellow  hue, 
while  the  lower  is  of  a  deep  red.  This  effect  is  created  by  the  rays 
of  the  sun  penetrating  an  excessively  fine  sand,  which  soon  insinuates 
itself  into  all  the  apertures  of  your  clothes,    finding  its  way  into 

EFFECTS    OF   THE    SIMOOM.  14'> 

the  eyes,  mouth,  and  ears,  in  large  quantities.  The  air  also  becomes 
so  obscured  by  the  sand,  that  it  is  impossible  to  see  three  yards  before 
you  ;  while  the  dry  heat  of  the  simoom,  inflames  the  blood,  irritates 
the  nerves,  and  oppresses  the  lungs,  rendering  respiration  exceedingly 

The  heat  of  those  days  during  which  the  simoom  continues,  is 
beyond  all  expression  or  belief;  it  is  like  passing  before  a  strongly 
heated  oven.  When  the  heart  has  burst,  to  use  the  expression  of  the 
Africans,  the  blood  rapidly  issues  from  the  eyes,  ears,  and  nostrils  ; 
.some  hours  after  the  body  turns  black,  and  the  limbs  lose  their 
elasticity.  This  is  the  wind  called  corruption  in  the  sacred  writings  ; 
and  poison  l)y  the  Arabs.  The  orientals,  in  their  emphatical  and 
figurative  mode  of  speaking,  when  desirous  of  painting  a  violent  and 
rapid  conqueror  in  his  exterminating  course,  compares  him  to  the 
burning  wind  of  the  desert  ! 

Often  while  the  simoom  continues,  immense  colunms  of  sand  are 
seen  to  elev.ite  themselves  at  different  distances  in  the  desert.  Some- 
times they  ascend  to  such  a  height  as  to  be  lost  in  air  ;  at  others,  they 
separate  and  cover  the  atmosphere  with  their  liery  particles,  or  a  dark 
mist;  at  times  they  assume  the  appearance  of  a  thick  wood,  whose  lofty 
branches  are  agitated  to  and  fro  by  the  winds  ;  and  on  other  occa- 
sions look  like  globes  of  smoke.  Among  the  other  eccentric  forms  of 
this  curious  phenomenon,  it  has  often  been  compared  to  the  column  of 
a  great  army  scouring  along  the  plain,  sometimes  hurrying  on  to  the 
charge,  and  at  others  wheeling  into  line.  Frequently  after  their  first 
formation,  they  burst  with  an  explosion  like  that  of  cannon,  or  the 
distant  thunder.  They  are  sometimes  of  a  deep  black,  and  at  others 
assume  the  hues  of  the  rainbow  ;  and  when  invested  with  the  sun's 
rays,  they  appear  studded  with  innumerable  brilliant  stars. 

It  has  repeatedly  happened  that  whole  tribes,  and  numerous 
caravans  have  been  buried  under  the  red  and  agitated  sand,  which  pos- 
sesses all  the  undulating  fury  of  the  sea,  when  roused  by  the  tempest. 
This  was  the  case  in  1805,  when  several  thousand  men  and  animals 

144  OASIS    OF   THE    DESERT. 

were  totally  destroyed  between  Fez  and  Mecca.  It  has  repeatedly 
occurred,  that  out  of  several  hundred  tiavellers,  who  unite  for  mutual 
support  to  cross  the  desert,  not  one  is  able  to  escape  ;  and  their  whi- 
tened bones  remain  strewed  about  tlie  sand,  striking  terror  into  those 
who  come  after,  and  are  threatened  with  a  similar  fate. 

Immense  solitudini  d'arena, 
Le  quai,  come  austro  suol  le  onde  marine. 
Mesce  il  turbo  spirante,  onde  a  gran  pena 
Ritrova  il  pellegren  riparo  e  scampo 
Nelle  tempeste  dell'  instabil  campo  I 

The  weary  pilgrims  who  are  destined  to  traverse  these  vast  soli- 
tudes, are  obliged  to  find  a  passage  over  sands  that  constantly  yield 
under  the  feet;  which,  in  addition  to  its  other  horrors,  renders  it 
infinitely  more  irksome  than  any  other  species  of  travelling.  Where 
nothing  is  seen  but  one  boundless  field  of  sand,  without  a  single  tree, 
or  the  smallest  appearance  of  verdure,  not  even  a  cave  to  shelter  in 
from  the  burning  luminary;  the  traveller,  like  those  who  under- 
take a  voyage  on  the  ocean,  looks  forward  to  the  sight  of  land,  with 
the  same  trembling  anxiety  :  it  is  therefore  to  conceive  with  what 
joy  and  consolation,  a  place  of  comfort  and  repose  is  discovered  in 
these  dreary  wastes.  Fortunately,  such  places  exist,  and  are  found 
in  the  desert  :  to  these  the  exhausted  caravans  have  recourse,  and  put 
in  for  refreshment,  as  a  navigator  does  when  worn  out  Avith  the  hard- 
shipii  of  his  voyage.  The  people  of  Africa  call  these  spots  "  the 
islands  of  the  sandy  sea,  or  of  verdure  :"  another  appellation,  that  of 
Ouah,  meaning  a  habitation  in  the  desert,  is  given  to  them  by  the 
wandering  Arabs  ;  while  the  European  epithet  Oasis,  according  to 
the  learned  M.  Langlet,  is  derived  from  an  Arabic  woid,  signifying 
repose  and  consolation.  A  favourite  theme  with  the  poets  and  his- 
torians of  antiquity,  they  have  also  been  frequently  alluded  to  by  the 
moderns,  who  have  represented  them  in  all  the  fascinations  of  enchant- 
ment, on  which  are  found  fairy  palaces  decorated  with  a  thousand 
brilliant  illusions  and  flowered  grottos,  whence,  in  the  silence  of  night, 
are  heard  to  proceed  sounds  of  celestial  harmony. 


It  appears,  that  the  ancients  only  knew  two  of  these  interesting 
spots,  the  Great  and  Little  Oasis;  theThebaid,  which  is  still  traversed 
by  the  Abyssinian  merchants  on  their  return  from  Cairo,  and  the 
smaller  one  of  an  oval  form,  the  present  kingdom  of  Fezzan  and 
Darfiir.  The  first  of  these,  which  is  said  to  be  tvvo  hundred  miles  in 
length,  and  whose  capital  is  Murzouk,  is  probably  the  ancient  Gara- 
mantes,  which  a  passage  of  Virgil  places  at  the  extremity  of  the 
earth.  There  are  many  others  besides  the  above  scattered  about  in 
various  parts  of  the  great  desert  :  and  their  number  has  led  some 
authors  to  compare  Afiica  to  a  leopard's  skin.  In  the  Algerine  terri- 
tory, and  within  its  little  Desert  of  Angad,  there  is  a  small  one,  so 
remarkable  for  the  luxuriancy  of  its  verdure,  and  richness  of  vegetation, 
that  the  Moors  call  it  Quesiret  el  sug,  or  the  flowery  island  ;  and  the 
poets  of  this  country  have  often  celebrated  it  under  the  name  of  the 
beautiful  garden  of  roses. 

Upon  one  of  the  above  spots,  is  supposed  to  have  been  discovered 
the  ruins  of  the  Temple  of  Ammon.  The  approach  to  this  celebrated 
place,  was  in  ancient  times  attended  with  innumerable  perils,  as  proved 
by  the  failure  of  repeated  attempts  to  penetrate  as  far  as  the  temple  ; 
particularly  the  case  of  Cambyses,  whose  anny  was  entirely  destroyed 
in  crossing  the  desert.  Quintus  Curtius  relates  all  the  horrors  to 
which  the  Macedonian  warrior  and  his  army  were  exposed  in  their  . 
visit  to  this  wonderful  spot.  Entering  the  desert,  they  continued  their 
march  over  that  solitary  waste  for  several  days,  oppressed  with  heat, 
thirst,  and  hunger  ;  when  all  of  a  sudden  the  renowned  site  of  the 
temple  burst  upon  their  longing  eyes.  What  surprize  and  consolation 
must  not  the  Grecian  soldiery  have  found  in  these  naked  solitudes  ? 
Forests  impenetrable  to  the  rays  of  the  sun,  rivulets  of  the  purest 
water,  and  a  delightful  temperature  that  enabled  the  fortunate  inhabit- 
ants to  gather,  throughout  the  year,  all  the  flowers  of  spring  and  fruits 
of  autumn  !  The  people  ofthis  singular  region  were  called  Ammonians, 
and  lived  in  cottages,  which  were  scattered  about  in  various  parts  of  the 
Oasis,  under  the  cooling  shade  of  its  orange  and  citron  groves. 



Amongst  its  other  objects  of  admiration,  two  of  the  most  dis- 
tinguished was  the  temple,  and  palace  of  the  kings  :  there  was  also 
another  sacred  dwelling,  appropriated  for  the  virgins  and  children  who 
officiated  in  the  various  ceremonies  of  the  shrine.  The  Fountain  of 
the  Sun,  whose  water  was  tepid  in  the  morning,  cold  at  mid-day,  hot 
towards  the  evening,  and  boiling  at  mid-night  ;  had  its  .source  in  a 
wood,  which  was  also  dedicated  to  the  divinity.  The  statue  before 
which  adorations  were  perfonned,  was  comjiosed  of  emeralds  and  other 
precious  stones,  and  had  the  fonn  of  a  goat  :  whenever  the  oracle  was 
consulted  ;  and  in  order  to  render  the  god  more  favourable,  this  sacred 
emblem,  placed  in  a  golden  boat,  was  carried  in  procession,  at  which 
the  matrons  and  virgins  attended,  chaunting  a  hymn  of  and 

Although  the  Temple  of  Ammon  has  ceased  to  be  an  oracle,  there  is 
little  doubt  of  the  spot  on  which  it  stood,  containing  the  most  precious 
remains  of  Egyptian  antiquity  in  the  world  ;  which,  if  any  means 
existed  of  pursuing  researches,  would  very  probably  throw  consider- 
able light  on  the  great  question  of  decyphering  the  hieroglyphics,  a.s 
well  as  the  other  branches  of  knowledge  which  distinguished  that 
extraordinary  people  above  the  rest  of  the  ancient  world.  It  is  known 
that  they  received  preceptors  from  Ammon,  who  taught  those  mys- 
terious doctrines  which  contributed  so  much  to  the  veneration  and 
celebrity  of  the  priests  of  Memphis  in  after  times.* 

*  Although  Mr.  Murray,  the  ingenious  editor  of  Dr.  Leyden's  excelleot^compilation, 
seems  satisfied  that  the  ruins  of  this  celebrated  spot  were  discovered  both  by  Horneman 
and  Browne,  it  is  extremely  difficult  to  reconcile  the  slender  vestiges  seen  by  these  tra- 
vellers, with  the  splendid  descriptions  handed  down  by  ancient  authors  :  the  reader  is, 
however,  left  to  judge  for  himself  on  the  passage  relating  to  this  subject,  which  is  as 
follows  : — "  Siwah  is  particularly  remarkable  for  a  monument  of  antiquity,  situated  a  few 
miles  to  the  westward.  This,  which  by  the  natives  is  called  Umraebeda,  consists  of  a 
large  mass  of  ruins  in  such  a  state  of  dilapidation,  as  to  make  it  difficult  to  discover  the 
original  purpose  for  which  the  structure  was  destined.  There  are  evident  remains  of  an 
exterior  wall  of  great  strength,  and  about  three  hundred  yards  in  circumference.  In  the 
centre  are  found  the  ruins  of  what  appears  to  have  been  the  principal  edifice.     It  is  about 

MR.    BROWNE.  147 

In  an  age  so  distinguished  for  enquiry  and  research  as  the 
present,  it  is  to  be  hoped  that  no  obstacles,  however  multiplied 
or  formidable,  will  impede  the  laudable  efforts  already  begun  for  the 
purpose  of  exploring  unknown  regions  ;  amongst  which,  Africa  is 
certainly  far  from  being  the  least  interesting.  It  must  be  matter  of 
deep  regret  to  the  community  at  large,  that  Mr.  Browne,  whose  per- 
severance and  contempt  of  danger,  seem  to  have  peculiarly  fitted  him 
for  so  arduous  a  pursuit,  did  not  experience  a  better  reception  at 
Darfur.  If  properly  supported  by  the  sultan  of  that  barbarous 
country,  there  is  little  doubt  but  that  the  great  question  would  have 
been  long  since  decided  :  as  it  is,  this  enterprizing  traveller's  exertions, 
while  they  prove  the  possibility  of  penetrating  into  Africa  through 
Lybia,  justly  place  him  in  the  envied  rank  of  Park,  Horneman, 
Leydiard,  and  many  others,  who  merit  the  applauses  of  posterity,  for 
their  highly  meritorious  labours  to  enlarge  the  sphere  of  human  know- 
ledge, and  make  us  acquainted  with  countries  of  which   the  public 

twenty-seven  feet  in  height,  twenty-four  in  width,  and  ten  or  twelve  paces  in  length. 
The  walls  are  six  feet  thick,  and  constructed,  particularly  in  the  roof,  of  very  large  blocks 
of  stone,  cemented  with  small  stones  and  lime.  The  interior  of  the  walls  is  decorated 
with  hieroglyphics,  and  appear  to  have  been  partly  painted.  From  the  whole  description, 
compared  with  that  of  Browne,  and  with  the  ancient  writers,  there  seems  very  little  doubt 
that  this  is  the  celebrated  shrine  of  Jupiter  Ammon,  the  object  of  unbounded  veneration  in 
the  ancient  world.  The  vicinity  of  the  fertile  Oasis  of  Siwah,  and  the  catacombs  found  in 
the  neighbouring  mountains,  strongly  tend  to  support  this  opinion." — Discoveries  and 
Travels  in  Africa,  Vol.  I.  p.  422. 

That  Mr.  Browne,  whose  caution  in  not  deciding  too  hastily  on  doubtful  subjects, 
cannot  be  sufficiently  admired,  believed  there  is  yet  much  to  excite  the  curiosity  of 
travellers  in  this  part  of  Africa,  is  evident  from  the  following  passage  extracted  from  the 
second  chapter  of  his  Travels. — "  Since  the  above  was  written,  it  has  been  communicated 
to  me,  that  Siwa  is  the  Sirossum  mentioned  by  Ptolemy  ;  and  that  the  building  described 
was  probably  coeval  with  the  Temple  of  Jupiter  Ammon,  and  a  dependency  thereon. 
The  discovery  of  that  celebrated  fane,  therefore,  yet  remains  to  reward  the  toil  of  the 
adventurous,  or  to  baffle  the  research  of  the  inquisitive.  It  may  still  survive  the  lapse  of 
ages,  yet  remain  unknown  to  the  Arabs,  who  traverse  the  wide  expanse  of  the  desert  ;  but 
such  a  circumstance  is  scarcely  probable:  it  may  be  completely  overwhelmed  in  the  sand, 
but  this  is  hardly  within  the  compass  of  belief."— ^rf. 

u  2 

148  COMFORTS    EVEN    IN    THE    DESERT. 

must  ever  remain  ignorant  without  such  men  ;  who  are  unquestionably 
amongst  the  small  number  of  persons  entitled  to  be  considered  as  the 
real  benefactors  of  mankind. 

However  terrific  and  repulsive  crossing  the  sands  of  Africa  may 
appear  by  the  foregoing  observations,  the  often  repeated  aphorism, 
that  every  situation,  no  matter  how  wretched,  has  its  advantages, 
applies  with  equal  propriety  to  those  who  accompany  the  caravans. 
"  A  flower  is  encountered  on  the  desert,  and  water  rushes  from  the 
rock."  After  the  hours  of  a  painful  march,  with  what  eyes  a  verdant 
pathway  or  majestic  palm-tree,  is  regarded  by  the  worn  out  pilgrim  ! 
With  what  transport  does  he  approach  a  fountain,  or  collect  the 
wished  for  drops  from  Heaven  !  How  gratifying  amidst  the  bare  and 
sterile  waste,  to  behold  the  camels  loaded  with  refreshing  fruits  and 
salutary  nutriment,  coming  to  meet  the  famished  wanderers  !  At  night, 
how  delightful  to  hear  the  bleating  of  lambs,  and  barking  of  the 
shepherd's  dog;  to  discover  the  perpendicular  columns  of  smoke, 
indicating  that  an  Arab  camp,  or  tent  of  a  hospitable  Bedouin  is  near 
at  hand  !  How  far  beyond  all  other  pleasures,  is  that  of  arriving  at 
an  oasis!  The  travellers  united  together  inspire  mutual  courage,  and 
regulating  their  pace  with  that  of  the  camels,  they  animate  each  other 
with  the  hopes  of  a  safe  arrival  and  happy  return.  The  Arab  who 
guides,  never  fails  at  each  halt,  to  call  the  faithful  together,  and  divide 
the  contents  of  his  pannier.  After  several  hours  of  weary  marching, 
you  arrive  in  the  cooling  airs  of  the  evening,  to  enjoy  the  balmy 
freshness  of  a  lucid  firmament  ;  where  the  night  is  ushered  in  with 
innumerable  stars,  and  the  great  Author  of  nature  surprizes  you  with 
all  the  splendor  of  creation.  Arriving  at  the  Bedouin's  tent,  you 
are  welcomed  with  the  hospitality  of  the  Patriarchs  :  consumed  by  heat 
and  thirst,  exhausted  by  weariness  and  fatigue;  after  traversing  a 
sand,  blown  about  and  discomposed  by  the  winds,  without  finding 
a  place  of  refreshment  or  repose  ;  all  of  a  sudden  cultivated  grounds 
are  discovered,  where  the  travellers  are  enabled  to  rest  :  it  can  only  be 
compared  to  returning  life.  Milk,  dates,  and  honey,  are  soon  supplied 


in  abundance;  coffee  is  prepared.  All  this,  amidst  the  privations  and 
poverty  of  the  desert,  must  be  a  wonderful  scene  of  luxury  and 

There  are  several  mountainous  tracts  in  Africa  :  the  principal 
ones  <;onsist  of  the  Mountains  of  the  Moon,  and  Lupato,  south  of 
Tombuctoo,  the  Troglodite,  Greater  and  Lesser  Atlas,  &c.  These  are 
supposed  by  some  naturalists  to  form  almost  a  continued  chain, 
corresponding  in  some  degree  with  the  back  bone  of  the  world,  in 
the  opposite  continents  of  North  and  South  America. 

As  to  the  Greater  Atlas,  which  belongs  more  immediately  to  my 
present  subject,  it  is  the  natural  boundary  between  Barbary  and  the 
Great  Desert  ;  its  highest  points  being  situated  in  Morocco  towards  the 
Atlantic,  and  nearly  in  a  line  with  the  Peak  of  Teneriffe;  while  the 
lesser  Atlas  extends  along  the  Mediterranean  coasts,  terminating  in 
the  vicinity  of  Tangiers.  Between  this  proud  chain,  which  rises  in 
progressive  majesty,  there  are  numerous  intermediate  mountains, 
whose  vallies  are  watered  by  innumerable  streams,  and  like  those  of 
the  Pyrenees,  give  a  surprizing  luxury  of  vegetation  to  this  part  of 
Africa;  while  the  gradual  melting  of  the  snows,  descending  in  a  nor- 
thern direction,  ensures  the  almost  unequalled  fertility  of  Tunis  and 

The  Atlas  mountains  do  not  appear  so  lofty  to  the  eye  as  they 
really  are,  in  consequence  of  not  ascending  into  sharp  points,  but 
gradually  rising  one  above  another  in  gentle  undulation.  The  natural 
quality  of  these  mountains  is  calcareous,  while  the  more  dense  material 
is  formed  of  granite.  The  western  flank  rises  abruptly,  in  arid  and 
black  masses,  from  an  extensive  plain  of  sand;  but  the  northern  decli- 
vity is  not  only  gradual,  but  ornamented  with  forests  and  pasture. 

*  The  geological  observations  contained  in  Keatinge's  Travels,  add  very  much  to  the 
value  of  his  work  in  other  respects.  Of  the  above  celebrated  range,  he  observes — "  The 
country  in  the  latitude  of  Fez,  westward  to  the  coast,  judging  by  the  meandering  of  the 
rivers,  is  nearly  a  water-level  to  the  foot  of  Mount  Atlas  ;  one  of  whose  limbs  is  pro- 
truded to  the  Straits,  while  his  main  body  follows  nearly  the  outline  of  the  Mediterranean 
coast,  to  his  utmost  termination  at  the  falls  of  the  Nile."     Vol.  II.  p.  49.— Ed. 


Amongst  various  other  trees  produced  on  tlie  summits  of  the 
Atlas,  the  oak  grows  to  an  amazing  height  ;  while  its  shady  branches 
are  said  to  shelter  a  very  rich  species  of  sage,  spikenard,  and  several 
other  rare  aromatic  plants;  the  cliffs  are  embellished  by  the  cactus, 
aloe,  and  Atlas  pistacchio.  The  pyramidical  cypress  also  abounds; 
together  with  a  smaller  bush  producing  a  delicious  berry  not  unlike 
the  strawberry  of  Europe. 

In  viewing  this  fine  range  of  hills,  it  is  gratifying  to  contem- 
plate an  object  of  so  much  veneration  with  the  ancients,  and  which 
has  given  its  name  to  that  boundless  region  covered  by  the  great 
Atlantic.  Ascending  their  summits,  the  traveller  would  call  to  mind 
the  poetic  illustration  of  these  celebrated  mountains,  which  represents 
the  metamorphosis  of  Atlas  into  stone,  his  robust  arms  transformed 
into  so  many  lofty  pinnacles,  while  a  forest  of  pine  covered  his  fiont  : 
constantly  encircled  with  clouds,  and  beaten  by  tempests,  his  shoulders 
are  clothed  with  a  mantle  of  snow,  and  rapid  torrents  issue  from  his 
hoary  beard,  leaving  on  his  back  Olympus  and  the  stars.  It  has 
been  truly  observed  by  Rousseau,  that  in  proportion  as  we  elevate 
ourselves  above  the  habitations  of  men,  so  do  the  viler  passions  of 
our  nature  remain  below  ;  approaching  the  ethereal  regions  we  imper- 
ceptibly contract  some  portion  of  their  unalterable  purity.  The  voice 
of  Nature  is  heard  with  most  sublimity  in  the  dashing  roar  of  the  cata- 
ract, and  amidst  the  gloomy  horrors  of  the  precipice. 

Prtesentiorem  et  conspicimus  Deum 
Per  invias  rupes,  fera  per  juga, 
Clivosque  praeruptos,  Sonantes 
Inter  aquas,  nemorumque  noctem.* 

Mountains  have  ever  been  the  refuge  of  the  patriotic  and  high- 
minded  sons  of  liberty.  While  blind  despotism  extends  his  rod  of  iron 
on  the  plains  of  Asia,  the  pride  of  independence  has  enabled  the 

*  This  quotation  is  from  the  pen  of  Mr.  Gray:  the  ode  from  which  the  extract  was 
made,  will  be  found  in  Mason's  edition  of  his  friend's  works.  Vol.  I.  p.  275.  It  seems  lo 
haye  been  written  in  the  Album  kept  by  the  fathers  at  the  celebrated  Chartreuse  between 
Turin  and  Milan. — Ed. 

THE    GREAT    DESERT.  151 

simple  and  uneducated  inhabitant  of  the  neighbouring  Alps,  to  pre- 
serve his  liberty  and  virtue.  The  Mainotes  of  Epirus,  and  Montene- 
grins of  Albania,  were  long  enabled  to  resist  the  whole  ])ower  of  Tur- 
key ;  the  generous  Armenians  waged  the  magnanimous  war  of  liberty 
on  the  mountains  of  their  native  country  ;  and  the  rugged  summits  of 
Snowden  and  Pliulimmon  have  been  immortalized  by  the  unconquer- 
able spirit  of  Owen  Glendower,  and  warlike  melody  of  the  bards. 

It  is  cheering  to  turn  our  regards  from  the  miserable  and  degraded 
people  of  Barbary,  and  place  them  on  tribes  who  inhabit  the  fast- 
nesses of  the  Atlas,  who  live  in  the  midst  of  plenty,  prosperity,  and 
independence.  The  goddess  they  worship,  gives  more  frankness  to  their 
manners,  and  expression  to  their  physiognomy.  This  liberty  is 
defended  with  the  strength  of  their  arm,  and  fire  of  patriotism.  Retired 
on  their  inaccessible  mountains,  guards  are  placed  and  signals  esta- 
blished, by  which  the  enemy  are  discovered  at  a  distance,  and  thereby 
time  is  given  for  the  whole  band  to  take  arms  and  assume  the  defen- 
sive :  these  people  entertain  but  one  fear  on  earth, — that  of  serving  ! 

When  the  armies  of  tyrants  appear,  and  set  fire  to  thevillage,  they 
retreat  to  the  high  grounds,  and  then  an  early  opportunity  is  taken 
of  rushing  down  like  a  torrent  on  the  enemy.  Often  reduced  to  the 
greatest  extremities,  they  seem  to  repeat  the  words  of  an  ancient 
Scythian  nation  to  a  ferocious  conqueror:  "  if  the  earth  fails  to 
supply  the  means  of  existence,  she  will  not  refuse  a  sepulchre  !" 

South  of  the  Great  Atlas  commences  the  Biledulgerid,  terminated 
by  the  Sahara,  or  Great  Desert.  Experience  has  amply  proved  this,  as 
by  far  the  most  eligible  direction  of  penetrating  into  Africa,  and  opening 
a  communication  with  Tombuctoo,  as  well  as  the  interior  of  Soudan. 
It  was  by  this  track  that  Suetonius  Paulinus  proceeded,  during  the 
domination  of  Rome  ;  and  it  is  still  constantly  frequented  by  all  the 
nations  of  Barbary  :  whereas  innumerable  difficulties  have  attended 
every  effort  to  penetrate  by  the  western  coast,  owing  no  less  to  the 
badness  of  the  climate,  arising  from  its  uncultivated  state,  than  the 
savage  nature  of  the  various  nations  through  which  a  traveller  has  to 

152  FATE    OF    ROENTGEN. 

pass  ;  and  who  are  as  yet  unacciistomefl  to  the  advantages  of  a  regular 
commercial  intercourse  with  Europeans.  With  respect  to  the  supe- 
rior facilities  aftbrded  by  advancing  into  Africa  on  the  northern  side, 
it  should  be  considered  that  the  adventurer  not  only  commences  his 
journey  under  the  protection  of  governments  which  are  connected 
with  the  nations  of  Europe  by  treaty,  but  can  at  all  times  accompany 
one  of  the  numerous  caravans  which  proceed  annually  from  Morocco: 
these,  although  subject  to  accidents,  generally  calculate  on  arriving 
at  the  end  of  their  voyage  without  any  material  difficulty.  Roent- 
gen's melancholy  fate,  the  only  European  who  has  attempted  to 
penetrate  from  this  quarter,  is  by  no  means  a  proof  of  its  imprac- 
ticability.* He  very  imprudently  gave  himself  up  to  the  guidance 
of  a  Mahometan,  who  was  a  renegade  ;  and  as  a  less  credulous 
person  might  have  suspected,  fell  a  victim  to  his  treachery.  Let 
us  hope,  that  the  success  of  future  attempts  will  be  ensured  by 
greater  precautions.  It  is  not  too  much  to  assert,  that  this  large 
portion  of  the  globe,  containing  at  least  one  hundred  and  fifty  mil- 
lions of  human  beings,  is  well  worthy  the  attention  of  civilized 
society  :  irom  the  little  we  already  know,  it  is  scarcely  necessary 
to  say  how  much  geography  and  natural  history,  of  every  kind, 
would  be  improved  by  the  farther  encouragement  of  African  disco- 
veries ;  not  to  mention  its  still  more  important  results,  as  accelerat- 
ing the  civilization  and  perfection  of  so  large  a  portion  of  the 
human  species. 

*  For  an  interesting  account  of  this  promising  young  man's  fate,  see  Keatinge's 
Embassy  to  Morocco.  In  speaking  of  African  discovery,  the  Colonel  very  properly  says, 
"  policy  and  commerce  cry  aloud,  and  both  nature  and  art  should  be  moved,  to  accomplish 
the  opening  the  inhospitable  coast  of  this  redundant  country.  But  to  none  does  the  appeal 
so  forcibly  address  itself,  as  to  the  nation  which  leads  in  commercial  enterprize.  Africa, 
indeed,  seems  now  the  only  part  of  the  globe  perfectly  free  for  the  introduction  of  adven- 
ture and  speculation  ;  and  it  is  likely  to  continue  so  quite  long  enough  to  reward  the 
trouble  and  risk.  The  attempts,  however,  if  any  take  place  in  this  direction,  must  be 
made  upon  a  scale  very  different  in  every  respect  from  all  hitherto  done  in  this  way." — 
Vide  Travels.— Ed. 



Different  People  of  Barbary. — Blacks. — Jews. — Christians.  —  Renegadoes. — 
Turks. — Chiloulis. — Berberi. — Bedouin  Arabs. —  Their  Mode  of  Living. — 
Male  and  Female  Costume. —  Various  Superstitions. — Occupations  of  the 
Arabs. — Riches. — Marriages. — Characteristic  Anecdotes. 

Having  endeavoured  to  give  some  idea  of  the  productions,  soil, 
and  climate  of  Barbary,  it  is  now  time  to  describe  the  diversity  of 
people  by  which  it  is  inhabited.  These,  widely  differing  in  name, 
quality  and  figure,  are  principally  composed  of  Negroes,  Turks, 
Moors,  Bedouin  Arabs,  Chiloulis,  Jews,  and  Christians.  Some  are 
indigenous,  while  others  are  of  foreign  origin  :  of  these,  many  inha- 
bit the  towns  and  plains  surrounding  them,  while  others  dwell  on 
mountains,  or  wander  irregularly  about  the  desert.  Towards  the  sea- 
coast  the  Moors  are  white,  and  of  an  olive  tinge  near  Mount  Atlas. 
In  the  cities,  such  as  Algiers,  Tunis,  and  Tripoly,  they  are  born  with 
an  excessively  fair  complexion;  this  by  constant  exposure  to  an  ardent 
sun,  becomes  naturally  of  a  brownish  cast.  It  is  said  that  there 
exists  in  one  of  the  remote  vallies  near  the  Atlas,  a  race  of  men 
lineally  descended  from  the  Vandals.  They  are  represented  as  very 
fair,  with  the  blue  eyes  and  light  hair,  which  distinguished  their  nor- 
thern ancestors.  Bruce  says  he  took  the  trouble  of  making  a 
perilous  excursion  to  the  Mountains  of  Auress  in  search  of  these 
people,  previously  noticed  by  Dr.  Shaw,  and  was  even  fortunate 
enough  to  discover  them.  Although  I  cannot  corroborate  the  asser- 
tions on  this  subject,  not  having  seen  any  of  the  tribe  alluded  to,  I 



was  seriously  assured  of  their  existence  by  several  Moors  during  my 
stay  at  Algiers.  Some  pretend  that  the  celebrated  Abyssinian 
traveller  has  exaggerated  his  account  of  these  people.  But  as  a 
professor,  who  used  to  surprize  his  friends  by  the  violence  and  obsti- 
nacy with  which  he  endeavoured  to  support  the  most  absurd  hypo- 
thesis, once  observed,  "  You  cannot  know  the  pleasure  there  is  in 
making  others  believe,  that,  in  which  we  have  no  faith  ourselves!"* 

Nearlv  all  the  blacks  in  this  country  are  in  a  state  of  unequivocal 
slavery.  The  barbarians  are  not  only  pirates  on  the  water,  liut 
extend  their  system  of  robbing  to  the  land  also.  While  the  corsairs 
scour  the  sea,  parties  of  licenced  banditti  are  dispatched  towards  the 
desert  in  pursuit  of  human  beings:  arriving  undiscovered  in  the 
peaceful  villages  at  night,  they  surprize  and  carry  off  the  inoffensive 
inhabitants,  who  are  quietly  occupied  in  looking  after  their  flocks  and 
harvest.  These  depredators  are  seconded  by  the  descendants  of  many 
Moorish  families,  who  fled  from  Barbary  during  the  reign  of  the 
caliphs,  and  afterwards  established  themselves  in  Soudan,  and  other 
countries  of  the  interior. 

There  is  also  a  great  number  of  slaves  bought  from  the  Shafrees, 
or  Moorish  dealers,  and  the  Slatees,  native  merchants,  who  bring 
them  in  large  droves  to  Vergela  in  the  country  of  the  Beni  Mezzaab. 
Besides  those  v\  ho  die  on  the  road  from  fatigue  and  ill  usage,  it  is 
supposed  that  there  are,  at  least,  twelve  thousand  annually  sold  in 
the  different  regencies.  The  march  often  exceeds  a  hundred  days  ;  and 
those  who  survive,  are  exposed  for  sale  in  the  bazaars.     It  really  Alls 

*  The  following  is  Dr.  Shaw's  notice  of  the  above  race  :  "  It  is  remarkable,  that  the 
inhabitants  of  the  Mountains  of  Auress,  have  a  quite  different  mien  and  complexion  from 
their  neighbours  ;  for  they  are  so  far  from  being  swarthy,  that  they  are  fair  and  ruddy  ; 
and  their  hair,  which,  among  the  other  Kahyles,  is  of  a  dark  colour,  is  with  them  of  a  deep 
yellow.  These  circumstances,  notwithstanding  their  being  IVlahometans,  and  their  speaking 
only  the  common  language  of  the  Kabyles,  render  it  probable  that  they  may  be  a  remnant 
of  the  Vandals."  Vide  Travels,  Chap.  III.  Bruce's  account  is  to  be  found  in  the  first 
volume  of  his  travels. —  Er/. 

NEGROES.  1-55 

one  with  horror  to  see  these  wretched  creatures  perfectly  naked, 
oppressed  with  all  the  bitterness  of  grief,  thus  reduced  to  the  state  of 
mere  beasts  of  the  field.  Both  men  and  women  are  minutely  examined 
with  no  less  indelicacy  than  atrocity,  by  their  inhuman  purchasers. 
Those  who  come  the  greatest  distance,  are  most  highly  valued,  as  it 
diminishes  the  chance  of  escape,  an  important  consideration  to  those 
who  buy  them  :  those  destined  to  remain  in  Barbary,  are  employed  in 
the  houses  of  rich  Moors,  while  the  remainder  are  conducted  to  the 
markets  of  Cairo  and  Egypt.  Several  Spanish  and  Portuguese  shijjs 
have  been  taken  by  the  English,  for  persisting  in  this  iniquitous 
traffic,  contrary  to  the  general  voice  of  Europe,  and  all  civilized 
nations.  It  has  also  been  reported,  that  the  transports  employed  to 
convey  the  troops  under  the  ferocious  Morillo,  were  afterwards  des- 
tined to  visit  the  coast  of  Guinea,  for  the  execrable  purpose  of  loading 
with  slaves  for  the  New  World.  Spain  and  Portugal  is  to  the  poor 
blacks,  like  the  terrible  land  of  Koom,  south  of  Tombuctoo  ;  where, 
after  being  bought,  the  unhappy  slaves  are  .slaughtered  and  eaten.* 

Those  negroes  whose  natural  mildness  of  disposition  and  good 
nature,  led  an  English  traveller  to  call  them  the  Hindoos  of 
Africa,  merit  a  very  different  treatment  from  their  fellow  creatures. 
The  travellers  who  have  frequented  the  desolate  banks  of  the  Joliba, 
at  a  time  when  Cafirs  and  strangers  experienced  the  worst  reception 
where  Moorish  princes  governed,  were  by  the  negroe  tribes  in  the 

*  Thanks  be  to  God,  the  cause  of  religion  and  humanity  has  just  experienced  another 
signal  triumph,  in  the  abolition  of  this  impious  traffic  by  Spain,  on  consideration  of 
receiving  a  large  sum  from  England.  Although  there  are  people  who  may  disapprove  of 
our  paying  the  deluded  cabinet  of  Madrid,  for  yielding  at  last  to  remonstrances  which 
it  could  no  longer  with  decency  resist;  yet,  if  there  ever  was  a  principle  upon  which  an 
overstrained  application  of  public  money  could  be  justified,  it  is  surely  furnished  on  the 
present  occasion  :  and  I  have  no  doubt  that  the  majority  of  the  nation  will  unite  in  giving 
full  credit  to  His  Majesty's  ministers,  for  this  beneficent  act  of  magnanimity  and  expiation. 

Upon  such  sacrifices 

The  gods  themselves  throw  incense  I 
And  when  the  little  interests  which  now  agitate  the  minds  of  men  so  violently,  have  passed 

X  2 


vicinity  of  that  river  received  as  friends  and  brothers.  Every  one 
recollects  the  horrible  picture  drawn  by  Park,  of  what  he  suffered  at 
Deena  and  in  the  Moorish  camp  of  Benowm  ;  also  the  cruel  manner  in 
which  he  was  retained  in  slavery  by  Ali,  the  sultan  of  Ludamar. 
The  people  of  Nigratia  refused  him  both  food  and  lodging  ;  calling 
white  men  the  s  ns  of  the  devil.  The  Mandengoes,  Fuladoo,  and 
other  negroe  nations,  were,  on  the  contrary,  courteous  and  obliging. 
All  must  recollect  the  beautiful  simplicity  and  pathetic  tenderness  of 
a  song,  which  the  poor  woman  of  Bambara  composed,  to  soothe  the 
melancholy  mind  of  this  meritorious  traveller,  accompanying  it  with 
the  most  zealous  offices  of  kindness. 

Judging  of  the  negroes  I  saw  in  JJarbary,  they  appeared  to  pos- 
sess a  natural  gaiety  and  steadiness  of  character,  which  formed  a 
striking  contrast  to  the  gloomy  taciturnity  of  the  Moors.  When  in 
their  own  countries,  dancing  and  singing  is  said  to  form  their  chief 
delight  and  greatest  source  of  amusement  :  they  never  salute  a  booti, 
or  head  of  a  tribe  ;  nor  return  thanks  for  any  favours  which  may  have 
been  conferred  on  them,  without  adding  a  song  in  praise  of  their 
generous  benefactor.  All  the  African  villages,  undisturbed  by  war, 
resound  with  song  ;  and  after  sun-set,  this  great  continent  may  be 
compared  to  one  universal  ball-room,  without  its  superfluous  ceremo- 
nies. As  these  demonstrations  of  happiness  generally  take  place  at 
the  same  hour,  and  the  nights  are  beautifully  serene,  the  neare«it 
villagers  alternately  reply  to  each  other  in  the  national  song,  while 

away,  and  in  a  few  transitory  years  our  animosities  descend  with  us  into  the  silent  grave  ; 
it  is  actions  like  the  above  that  will  more  than  redeem  the  errors  of  England,  and  make  her 
an  example  fit  to  be  held  up  at  once  to  the  applause  and  imitation  of  posterity. 

If,  however,  it  should  hereafter  appear,  that  the  four  hundred  thousand  pounds  given 
to  Spain  on  this  occasion,  are  appropriated  to  any  other  purpose  than  the  one  explicitly 
stipulated  for  in  the  treaty;  viz.  in  compensating  the  loss  sustained  by  His  Catholic 
Majesty's  subjects  engaged  in  this  nefarious  traffic,  while  it  was  legally  authorized,  such 
a  flagrant  abuse  of  confidence  will  not  escape  the  resentment  of  our  government,  while 
it  cannot  fail  to  afford  the  nation  at  large,  another  strong  ground  of  complaint  against  the 
ministers  and  advisers  of  Ferdinand,  the  Vllth. — Ed. 

JEWS.  157 

the  more  susceptible  listen  with  eager  curiosity,  to  catch  the  voice  of 
their  ebon  Dulcinea.  The  black  slaves  in  Algiers  also  dance  occa- 
sionally ;  but  it  is  the  dance  of  slavery,  in  which  chains  echo  a 
terrible  response  to  the  music.  Theirs  is  no  longer  the  song  of  ten- 
derness and  peace  :  it  is  slow,  monotonous,  and  sorrowful  ;  the 
expression  of  deep  and  settled  melancholy. 

Of  Jews,  there  is  an  immense  number  scattered  all  over  the  coast 
of  Barbary.  The  city  of  Algiers  contains  about  eight  thousand,  most 
of  whom  have  swerved  considerably  from  the  belief  of  their  ancestors, 
following  the  Talmud  and  Kabbala,  with  the  exception  of  those 
called  free,  who  generally  come  from  Leghorn  to  this  place,  and  are 
allowed  entire  liberty  in  their  movements.  The  unhappy  sons  of 
Israel,  so  badly  treated  in  other  countries,  can  expect  little  indul- 
gence from  the  barbarians  ;  consequently  there  is  no  species  of  out- 
rage or  vexation  to  which  they  are  not  exposed.  They  are  prohibited 
from  writing  or  speaking  Arabic,  to  prevent  their  being  able  to  read 
the  dicine  Koran.  They  cannot  ride  on  horseback,  but  are  obliged 
to  go  on  mules  and  asses  ;  the  first  being  too  noble  an  animal  for 
them.  When  passing  a  mosque,  they  are  obliged  to  go  bare-footed. 
They  dare  not  approach  a  well  or  fountain,  if  there  be  a  Moor 
driaking  there  ;  or  sit  down  opposite  t<i  a  Mahometan.  Their  cloth- 
ing Is  obliged  to  be  black  ;  which  colour  is  held  in  contempt  by  the 
Moors.  The  Je>vish  women  are  only  permitted  to  veil  a  part  of  their 
features.  The  indolent  Moor,  with  a  pipe  in  his  mouth  and  his  legs 
crossed,  calls  any  Jew  who  is  passing,  and  makes  him  perform  the 
offices  of  a  servant.  Others  amuse  themselves  by  smearing  the  hands, 
visage,  hair,  and  clothes  of  the  Jewish  boys,  with  paint  or  mud  ; 
while  the  Turkish  soldiers  often  enter  their  houses,  insulting  the 
females,  without  the  heads  of  the  family  having  the  privilege  of 
desiring  them  to  retire. 

It  is  the  business  of  Jews  to  execute  all  criminals,  and  after- 
wards bnry  their  bodies.  They  are  also  employed  to  carry  the  Moors 
on  their  shoulders,  when  disembarking  in  shoal  water.     They  feed 

1Ó8  SUFFERINGS    OF    THE    JEVVgr. 

the  animals  of  the  seiaglio,  and  are  incessantly  exposed  to  the  scoff- 
ings  and  de  ision  of  the  young  Moors,  without  the  possibility  of 
resenting  it.  Frequently  beaten  by  their  persecutors,  if  they  lift  a 
hand  in  their  own  defence,  agreeable  to  the  lex  talionis  of  the  Moors, 
it  is  taken  otf.  But  that  which  is  still  more  irksome,  is  the  never 
ending  contributions  levied  on  them  :  the  weekly  sum  of  two  thou- 
sand dollars  is  exacted  as  a  general  tax  upon  the  whole  tribe,  besides 
various  other  individual  assessments,  particularly  whenever  any 
Moorish  festival  takes  place.  The  Turks  insist  on  borrowing  monev 
even  by  force  ;  and  contrary  to  the  European  maxim,  it  is  not  he  who 
forgets  to  pay,  that  is  incarcerated,  but  the  man  who  refuses  to  lend  ! 
A  Jew  cannot  leave  the  regency  without  giving  security  to  a  large 
amount  for  his  return.  If  any  of  the  sect  become  bankrupts,  and 
there  happens  to  be  a  Turkish  creditor,  he  is  almost  invariably  accused 
of  fraudulency  and  hung.  Woe  to  those,  who  attempt  to  complain 
on  such  occasions  :  which  is  no  trifling  aggravation  of  their  sufferings. 
There  was  once  an  imposition  laid  on  fountains;  upon  which  a 
poet  wrote  the  following  address:  "  You  are  loaded  with  imposts 
like  us;  but  more  happy  than  we — you  are  at  least  allowed  to 
murmur  /" 

It  is,  however,  astonishing  with  what  stoical  fortitude  all  this  is 
borne  by  the  followers  of  Abraham  ;  many  of  whom,  underan  appearance 
of  the  greatest  poverty,  accumulate  large  fortunes.  "  It  is  true,"  said 
a  Jew,  on  my  asking  how  he  could  remain  in  a  country,  where  he 
.suffered  so  many  vexations;  "  we  suffer  a  great  deal;  but  then  what 
money  we  make  !  !" 

On  one  side  this  extraordinary  race  suffer  innumerable  vexations 
and  acts  of  injustice,  together  with  the  most  cruel  sei-vitude  ;  while  on 
the  other,  their  talents  and  industry,  place  them  as  the  directors  and 
proprietors  of  commerce,  manufactures,  and  even  the  mint.  The 
taxes  immediately  within  the  regency  are  all  collected  by  Jews,  and 
persons  of  this  persuasion  are  the  principal  landholders.  They  serve 
as  interpreters  and  secretaries,   being  frequently  employed  both  as 

CONDITION    OF    THK    JEMS.  lór> 

counsellors  and  agents,  in  affairs  ol'tlie  greatest  delicacy.  And  either 
from  the  influence  of  their  money,  or  persevering  flexibility  of  their 
character,  they  often  exercise  an  unlimited  sway  in  the  divan  and 
palace  of  the  Dey.  The  Turks  look  with  hatred  and  contempt  upon 
the  Jewish  financiers,  while  they  secret  y  envy  their  riches.  Such, 
however,  is  the  fate  of  the  tax-gatherer  and  monopolist  in  every 

The  moral  and  political  condition  of  this  people,  is  a  singular 
phenomenon  in  the  history  of  human  nature:  they  are  a  nation  whose 
origin  is  traced  to  the  first  ages  of  the  world,  and  who  seem  destined 
to  continue  till  its  close;  a  people  whom  God  selected  for  his 
own,  and  led  out  of  Egypt  by  his  hand,  filling  with  inspiration  the 
writers  of  their  history  ;  a  nation  which  regarded  the  Divinity  as  its 
king,  his  laws  as  their  rule,  and  themselves  as  his  patrimony;  that 
is  scattered  all  over  the  globe  without  a  country,  and  which,  in  the 
midst  of  persecution  and  exile,  preserves  its  faith  untainted;  a  people, 
in  fine,  whose  singular  customs,  and  unshaken  national  character 
merit  no  less  the  attention  of  the  philosopher  than  the  statesman. 
How  curious  to  reflect  on  this  strange  destiny  of  the  sons  of  Jacob  ! 
Warriors  and  conquerors  under  the  intrepid  David,  that  man  after 
God's  own  heart,  full  of  power  and  of  glory  ;  and  governed  by  Solo- 
mon, filling  the  eastern  world  with  lessons  of  wisdom,  while  Judea 
reposed  in  peace  with  all  mankind.  What  diversity  of  suftering  did 
they  not  subsequently  experience  until  the  destruction  of  the  temple, 
whether  they  remained  faithful  to  Darius,  after  the  victory  at  Arbela, 
or  sorrowfully  wandered  over  the  plains  of  Nineveh  :  chained  behind  the 
Roman  chariot  ornamenting  the  triumph  of  Nero  and  Vespasian,  or 
when  afterwards  massacred  for  the  rebellion  of  Barcochebas  and  of 
Zabafer  Levi.  Even  in  the  utmost  excesses  of  misfortune,  they  do 
not  cease  to  be  a  nation,  to  sigh  after  the  banks  of  Jordan,  and  the 
dulcet  sounds  of  Solima's  harp  !  To  them,  an  attachment  to  the  dogma 
of  their  forefathers  is  the  first  of  virtues.  They  were  the  architects 
of  the  colossal  pyramids  of  Egypt,  and  of  the  Roman  amphitheatres. 

160  SECTS    AMONG    THE   JEWS. 

And  thus,  while  in  the  lap  of  misery,  have  they  participated  in  the 
greatest  designs.  The  race  of  Abraham  has  never  despaired  of  the 
divine  justice  :  inflexible  in  adversity,  they  steadily  direct  their  eyes 
towards  that  Omnipotent  God,  who  has  performed  so  many  prodigies 
for  them,  and  foretold, — the  time  will  come,  the  work  shall  be 
aecomplished  ! 

There  are,  at  present,  three  different  sects  among  the  Jews  :  the 
Karaiti,  who  only  recognize  the  law  of  Moses  in  its  literal  sense  ; 
the  Samaritans,  a  kind  of  schismatics,  who  are  confined  to  some  parts 
of  Palestine;  and  the  Rabbinists,  who  unite  the  Mosaic  law  to  the 
interpretations  contained  in  the  Talmud,  and  in  the  oral  traditions. 
Various  other  branches  of  Jewish  sectarians  are  no  longer  recognized 
amongst  them  ;  such  as  the  Saduceens,  a  species  of  materialists  ; 
the  Essenists,  whose  doctrines  had  some  resemblance  to  those  of  the 
Stoics,  while  their  manners  were  not  unlike  the  Quakers,  and  Moravian 
brothers;  the  Therapeuti,  who  seemed  to  have  been  models  to  the 
Anchorites;  and  the  Rhodians,  which  was  rather  a  political  tlian 
religious  sect. 

The  Talmud  is  a  collection  of  maxims  and  precepts  exclusively 
compiled  for  the  edification  of  Jews,  amongst  whom  its  authority 
is  very  great  ;  it  being  in  some  degree  their  canonical  and  civil  code. 
This  book  contains  many  traits  of  a  pure  and  sublime  morality,  toge- 
ther with  numerous  absurdities.  The  following,  for  instance,  is  no  less 
ridiculous  than  amusing:  the  Messiah,  it  says,  is  to  give  to  his 
people  assembled  in  the  land  of  Canaan,  a  grand  entertainment:  at 
this  will  be  served  the  precise  wine  used  at  the  table  of  Adam  !  and 
which  had  been  presei-ved  by  the  angels  in  vast  cellars,  situated  in  the 
centre  of  the  earth.  At  this  feast,  is  also  to  be  served  up  a  famous 
little  fish,  called  the  Leviathan,  which  is  not  less  than  two  or  three 
hundred  leagues  in  length.  In  the  beginning  God  created  the 
masculine  and  feminine,"  of  this  singular  fish  ;  but  as  their  offspring 
might  have  given  rise  to  some  inconvenience  on  earth,  God  kdled 
the  female,    which  he   salted  down  for   the  feast  of   the  Messiah. 

THE    TALMUD.  161 

The  great  Benemoth  is  also  to  be  slaughtered  for  the  same  occasion  : 
this  animal  is  of  so  monstrous  a  size,  that  he  daily  consumes  the  hay 
of  a  thousand  mountains.  The  feminine  was  killed  for  the  same 
reasons  as  that  of  the  Leviathan,  but  not  salted,  because  fish  is  pre- 

With  the  exception  of  slaves  and  a  i'ftw  other  individuals,  there 
are  no  Christians  settled  at  Algiers.  The  Dey  takes  care  to  prevent 
their  increase  ;  and  those  who  go  there  for  any  commercial  purpose, 
cannot  remain  longer  than  a  stated  period,  or  take  a  house,  and  are 
consequently  obliged  to  lodge  at  the  residence  of  some  well-known 
Jew  during  their  continuance  in  the  city.     It  is  said  that  this  rigorous 

*  There  are  two  works  which  bear  this  name  ;  the  Talmud  of  Jerusalem,  and  that  of 
Babylon.  Each  of  these  is  composed  of  two  parts:  the  Mishna,  which  is  the  text,  and 
is  common  to  both  ;  and  the  Gemerà,  or  commentary.  The  Mishna,  which  comprehends 
all  the  laws,  institutions,  and  rules  of  life,  which,  besides  the  ancient  Hebrew  scriptures, 
the  Jews  thought  themselves  bound  to  observe,  was  composed  according  to  their 
unanimous  testimony,  about  the  close  of  the  second  century  :  it  was  the  work  of  Rabbi 
Jehuda  Hakkadosh,  who  was  the  ornament  of  the  school  at  Tiberias,  and  is  said  to  have 
occupied  him  forty  years.  The  commentaries  and  additions  made  by  succeeding  Rabbis, 
were  collected  by  Jochanan  Ben  Eliezar  ;  some  say  in  the  sixth,  and  others  in  the  seventh 
century,  under  the  name  of  Gemerà,  that  is,  completion,  because  it  completed  the 

It  cannot  certainly  be  denied,  that  the  history  of  this  extraordinary  people  is  calculated 
to  excite  our  astonishment  in  no  trifling  degree  ;  yet,  I  candidly  confess,  no  new  discovery 
in  their  general  character  has  induced  me  to  change  an  opinion  1  ventured  to  give  of  them 
in  another  place  :  which  opinion,  founded  as  it  was  on  the  usurious  principles  and  isolated 
selfishness  of  the  whole  tribe,  corroborated  by  ages  of  experience,  could  not  have  been  very 
favourable  to  the  sons  of  Levi.  If,  however,  any  person,  whether  Jew,  Christian,  or 
Turk,  has  the  goodness  to  inform  me  in  what  particular  instances  they  have,  as  a  nation, 
gone  out  of  the  beaten  path  of  monopoly,  and  insatiable  love  of  gain,  for  the  general 
benefit  of  mankind,  I  shall  then  be  most  happy  in  adding  my  applause  to  that  of  others. 
No  liberal  mind  can  approve  of  the  persecutions  this  sect  has  met  with,  in  common  with 
every  other  in  the  days  of  barbarism  ;  which  have,  I  trust,  gone  by  for  ever.  Without 
attempting  to  justify  that  which  will  not  bear  an  excuse,  it  has  frequently  occurred  to  me, 
that  while  religious  and  political  persecution  was  the  order  of  the  day  in  Europe,  the  Jews 
had  infinitely  less  reason  to  complain  than  their  Christian  neighbours. — Ed^ 



system  arises  as  much  from  the  fanatical  zeal  of  their  chief,  as  from  a 
strong  feeling  of  jealousy  on  the  part  of  the  Moors,  on  seeing  the  pre- 
dilection of  their  women  towards  Christians  in  general. 

The  life  which  a  European  leads  in  this  place,  is  naturally  of  the 
most  melancholy  description.  The  continual  sight  of  his  brethren  in 
chains,  is  a  constant  source  of  suffering,  while  he  is  personally  exposed 
to  a  thousand  dangers  and  unpleasantries,  arising  from  the  unsettled 
state  of  the  government,  and  probable  chance  of  offending  one  of  the 
faithful  ;  which  event  generally  ends  in  the  Nazarene's  receiving  a 
good  drubbing.  It  has  also  happened,  that  an  enthusiastic  Marabout, 
upon  some  trifling  pretence,  has  peremptorily  insisted  on  a  Christian's 
being  circumcised,  and  assuming  the  turban  ;  from  which  appeal  it 
is  extremely  difficult  to  escape  :  and  if  they  accidentally  come  in  con- 
tact with  any  of  their  religious  processions,  there  is  a  very  fair  chance 
of  suffering  the  martyrdom  of  St.  Stephen.  If  one  happens  to  be  near 
the  door  of  a  Moor,  when  leaving  his  house,  jealousy  is  immediateh' 
awakened,  and  requires  very  little  stimulus  to  be  followed  b}^  a  coup 
de  poignard.  When  found  in  the  streets  somewhat  late  at  night,  you 
are  seized  and  carried  before  the  Cadi  ;  met  by  any  of  the  young  Turks, 
in  addition  to  the  pleasing  epithet  of  cornutos  and  can  senza  fede, 
your  ears  are  saluted  with  a  chorus  to  the  following  effect  : — "  The 
truebelievers  with  celestial  houris  lie  on  beds  of  roses;  while  Jews  and 
Christians  are  extended  on  burning  coals  I"  The  ladies,  too,  by  the 
way  of  not  losing  the  opportunity  of  a  good  joke  at  our  expence,  on 
passing  along,  accompany  a  very  significant  look,  by  placing  their 
fair  hands  against  the  forehead,  in  such  a  way  as  not  to  be  mi.staken 
for  a  pair  of  horns  !  If,  on  the  contrary,  any  of  them  are  induced  to 
view  us  less  unfavourably,  and  the  intrigue  be  discovered,  the  fate  of 
Leila  awaits  the  female,  while  the  Christian  loses  his  head.* 

In  alluding  to  the  probability  of  such  an  event  as  the  foregoing, 
i»  may  be  proper  to  observe,  that  in  addition  to  the  perils  of  meeting 

*  Vide  Lord  Byron's  Giaour. 

AN    INTRIGUE.  16'i 

a  complaisant  Moorish  woman,  there  is  also  that  of  being  entrapped 
for  the  purpose  of  extortion  or  assassination. 

A  young  Christian,  observing  a  beautiful  woman,  attended  by 
an  old  female  slave,  fancied  that  his  regards  were  not  disagreeable, 
and  that  he  might  consequently  follow  her  with  impunity.  The  old 
Argus  coming  up,  told  him  to  stop,  but  begged  he  would  contrive  to 
be  near  the  mosque  about  the  same  hour  next  day.  He  did  not  fail 
to  attend,  and  the  lady  also  came;  but  instead  of  the  same  slave, 
another  had  taken  her  place,  whose  appearance  seemed  quite  gigantic 
to  the  Christian.  Soon  after,  both  entered  the  shop  of  a  Jew,  making 
signs  to  the  young  man  to  follow;  scarcely  had  he  crossed  the 
threshold,  when  the  new  attendant,  raising  the  veil  which  had 
hitherto  covered  the  head,  disclosed  a  face  not  unlike  that  of  Medusa  ; 
and  in  a  stern  voice  demanded  of  the  petrified  Christian,  how  he 
dared  to  follow  the  woman  of  a  Mussulman  Ì  Upon  this,  the  poor 
young  man  stammered  out,  by  way  of  explanation,  that  he  meant  no 
harm,  and  only  followed  with  the  honest  intention  of  offering  his 
hand  to  the  lady  who  had  inspired  him  with  the  strongest  passion. 
— That  cannot  be,  replied  the  Moor,  as  she  is  my  wife  ;  and  I  am 
not  disposed  to  cede  her  to  such  a  dog  of  a  Christian  as  you  are  ;  but 
I  am  determined  to  punish  you,  for  having  attempted  to  raise  your 
thoughts  to  the  wife  of  a  Mahometan.  Therefore,  take  the  choice  of 
either  instantly  becoming  a  Mussulman,  or  of  being  put  to  death  ! 
On  this  proposition  being  made,  the  wretched  Christian  trembled  like 
a  leaf,  ignorant  how  he  should  act  ;  when  the  proprietor  of  the  shop 
whispered  in  his  ear,  that  he  might  get  out  of  the  scrape,  by  giving 
the  Moor  all  the  money  he  had  about  him,  and  signing  a  paper  for 
the  payment  of  another  large  sum  :  to  all  which  the  European  most 
joyfully  consented,  considering  himself  as  extremely  happy  in  having 
thus  got  clear  at  so  cheap  a  rate.  The  female,  Moor,  and  Jew,  who 
had  combined  on  this  occasion  to  deceive  the  Christian,  had  a  fine 
laugh  at  the  result  of  their  successful  farce,  which  appeared  likely  to 
have  so  tragical  an  end  for  the  disappointed  suitor. 

1    2 


What  kind  of  a  life,  therefore,  must  one  lead  in  a  place  where 
there  is  no  person  witji  whom  you  can  change  a  word  in  safety  ;  where 
you  are  obliged  to  give  the  wall  to  beasts  of  burthen  ;  where  women 
as  they  pass  by,  honor  you  with  the  sign  of  Capricorn ,  and  Marabouts 
insist  on  your  being  circumcised!  A  person  travelling  through  Ger- 
many, was  once  met  by  a  large  dog,  who  seemed  to  approach  him 
with  a  ferocious  howl,  as  if  intending  to  bite;  by  the  way  of  keeping 
the  animal  at  bay,  the  traveller  stooped  down  to  pick  up  a  stone,  but 
to  his  great  mortification,  found  them  all  fixed  to  the  earth  by  a  hard 
fi-ost,  upon  which  he  exclaimed:  "  Cursed  country  !  where  they  bind 
the  stones,  and  unchain  the  dogs  !"  I  shall  say,  evil  befal  the  place 
where  slaves  are  loaded  with  chains,  and  Marabouts  are  suffered  to  be 
at  large  ! 

The  number  of  renegadoes  at  Algiers  is  by  no  means  numerous  : 
some  Christians,  forced  to  fly  from  Ceuta  for  their  crimes,  rendered 
desperate  by  long  suffering,  or  blinded  by  a  passion  for  some  female, 
have  abandoned  the  religion  of  Christ  for  that  of  Mahomet.  Upon 
this  they  receive  pay  like  the  Turks,  and  can  aspire  to  all  the  honors 
of  the  state,  including  that  of  Dey,  as  in  the  case  of  Mezzomorto. ^  It 
is  not,  however,  customary  for  the  Moors  to  encourage  proselytism 
amongst  the  slaves,  knowing  what  a  loss  they  must  sustain  by  the 
latter's  freedom,  and  also  from  an  opinion  that  an  apostate,  either  in 
politics  or  religion,  cannot  be  trusted. 

To  prevent  the  advancement  of  a  renegade  to  the  higher  offices, 
he  is  interdicted  from  marrying  a  Mahometan  female:  his  mistakes  or 
bad  conduct,  are  also  punished  with  the  utmost  severity,  while  he  is 
always  surrounded  by  a  large  cabal,  and  envious  eyes  are  ever  directed 
towards  his  ruin.     It  is  related  of  a  Grand  Seignor  of  the  Turks,  that 

*  So  called  from  his  being  found  half  dead  on  the  field  of  battle  :  having  the  com- 
mand of  a  shabeque,  he  ran  before  the  ship  of  a  Christian,  upon  which  the  Dey  ordered 
him  on  pain  of  death  to  return  to  the  ocean  and  re-establish  the  lost  honor  of  Algiers  :  this 
Mezzomorto  obeyed,  evincing  many  proofs  of  intrepidity  which  advanced  him  to  the  chief 
naval  command,  and  finally  led  to  his  becoming  Dey. 

TURKS    OF    ALGIERS.  165 

he  wrote  to  the  Pope,  recommending  a  French  bishop,  for  the  next 
cardinal's  hat  that  became  vacant  :  and  by  the  way  of  raising  him  in 
the  holy  father's  estimation,  mentioned  that  the  said  bishop  had  a 
great  desire  to  turn  Mahometan  ! 

It  is  well  known  with  how  much  avidity  the  famous  Count  Bon- 
neval  was  received  at  Constantinople;  and  the  Emperor  of  Morocco 
gave  the  command  of  his  army  to  the  Duke  de  Ripperda.  But 
things  have  undergone  a  wonderful  change  in  this  respect  ;  and  we 
may  safely  assure  ourselves,  that  neither  a  Christian  nor  renegade,  can 
now  attain  to  any  post  of  eminence  in  the  states  of  Barbary. 

All  those  who  embrace  the  Moorish  religion  are  not  thereby  ren- 
dered free:  they  have  merely  less  fatigue,  and  enjoy  rather  more 
liberty,  particularly  that  of  giving  themselves  up  to  a  greater  course 
of  infamy.  If  a  Christian  is  heard  to  repeat,  "  God  is  merciful,  and 
Mahomet  is  his  prophet;"  he  is  taken  before  the  Cadi,  and  instantly 
obliged  to  embrace  the  faith  of  Islamism.  The  Jew  who  may  be  desi- 
rous of  turning  Mahometan,  must  tirst  become  a  Christian,  in  order, 
as  the  Moors  say,  to  follow  the  course  of  different  religions,  and 
finally  pass  through  those  gradations  which  lead  to  perfection. 

The  Turks  of  Algiers,  as  observed  in  a  former  chapter,  are  all 
foreigners,  originally  sent  from  Constantinople  for  the  purpose  of 
defending  and  maintaining  this  government  under  the  protection  and 
influence  of  the  Grand  Seignor.  Having,  however,  once  obtained 
power,  this  refractory  body  not  only  refused  to  obey,  but  shortly  after 
assumed  a  degree  of  supremacy  which  has  for  nearly  two  centuries 
been  a  source  of  the  utmost  terror  and  oppression,  both  to  the 
natives,  and  those  European  powers  whose  maritime  force  may 
have  been  insufficient  to  cope  with  the  corsairs.  Exercising  a  much 
greater  share  of  power  than  the  Pretorian  guards  of  Rome,  Mama- 
lukes  of  Egypt,  or  the  Tartars  in  China;  they  occupy  all  the  offices 
of  state,  and  keep  the  Moors  in  the  cruellest  bondage,  while  their 
violence  has  long  made  Algiers  the  theatre  of  revolution  and  bloodshed. 


This  lawless  force  is  kept  up  by  sending  ships  and  commissaries 
to  the  Levant  annually,  to  procure  new  recruits,  in  order  to  fill  up 
those  vacancies  occasioned  by  war,  deaths,  or  punishments.  These 
are  collected  from  the  very  lowest  dregs  of  the  people  in  Smyrna  and 
Constantinople,  nor  are  the  vilest  malefactors  rejected.  The  Barbai-y 
recruits  are  looked  upon  with  so  much  contempt,  that  even  the  women 
refuse  to  accompany  them  in  their  new  calling.  No  sooner,  however, 
are  they  landed  in  Algiers,  and  formed  into  an  insolent  and  domi- 
nating militia,  than  a  high  air  of  importance  is  put  on;  and 
giving  themselves  the  title  of  Effendis,  they  possess  all  the  arrogance 
and  pride,  which  generally  belong  to  the  upstart  favourites  of 
fortune.  Notwithstanding  their  vanity,  they  are  by  no  means 
ashamed  of  their  base  origin  :  on  the  contrary,  they  seem  to  feel  a 
peculiar  pleasure  in  publishing  from  what  low  degrees  they  have 
been  enabled  to  arrive  at  the  highest  offices.  A  Dey  while  disputing 
with  one  of  the  European  consuls,  once  said:  "  my  fatljer  salted 
tongues  at  Pera,  and  my  mother  sold  them  in  Constantinople;  but  I 
never  knew  a  worse  tongue  than  yours  !" 

Although  the  militia  seldom  exceed  ten  or  twelve  thousand,  they  are 
enabled  to  keep  five  millions  of  people  in  fear  and  subjection,  by  all 
of  whom  they  are  naturally  held  in  the  greatest  abhorrence,  notwith- 
standing the  hard  necessity  of  obeying  such  monsters.  It  would 
appear,  however,  that  they  have  to  deal  with  a  people  so  degraded  by 
oppression,  that  they  place  their  chief  glory  in  humbling  themselves, 
esteeming  a  man  in  proportion  as  his  slavery  is  abject.  The  ass  com- 
plained to  Jupiter  of  being  always  condemned  to  labour  and  the 
lash.  "  My  friend,"  replied  the  god,  "  how  is  it  possible  for  me  to 
persuade  men  that  you  are  not  a  poltroon  Ì  Besides,  you  know  they 
are  naturally  cruel  :  however,  I'll  do  all  I  can  to  alleviate  your  con- 
dition :  you  shall  be  rendered  insensible!"  Tacitus  with  a  profound 
knowledge  of  human  nature,  has  observed,  that  the  first  person  who 
dared  to  become  a  tyrant,  found  slavish  hearts  ready  to  obey  him  ; 

THE    BEREBERS.  167 

and  that  voluntary  servitude  makes  more  tyrants,  than  the  latter  do 

The  distrustful  policy  of  the  Ala^erine  a^overnment  takes  ali 
possible  care  to  prevent  too  close  a  union  between  the  Turkish  sol- 
diery and  Moorish  population,  so  as  to  render  them  at  once  the 
instruments  and  accomplices  of  its  tyranny  ;  consequently  intermar- 
riage with  the  Moorish  women  is  not  encouraged.  It  was  not  long 
since  that  a  rich  Moor,  Sydi  Cador,  lost  his  head,  for  having  given  his 
daughter  in  marriage  to  an  aga.  But  the  empire  of  love  is  the  most 
powerful  of  all,  so  that  many  Turks  influenced  by  the  ardour  of 
passion,  unite  themselves  to  natives,  and  they  are  generally  prefen-ed 
by  the  parents,  who  are  thus  enabled  to  anticipate  support  in  the 
hour  of  revolution.  Weakness  looks  to  power  for  protection,  and 
beauty  likes  to  become  the  reward  of  valour.  The  children  who 
spring  from  these  marriages  may  in  some  measure  be  compared  to 
the  Creoles  of  the  AYest  Indies  ;  and  are  called  CInloulis.  At  Tunis 
they  become  soldiers,  and  receive  pay  almost  as  soon  as  th  ey  are  able 
to  walk  ;  but  in  Algiers  they  are  not  enrolled  until  a  more  advanced 
age.  Viewed  with  great  jealousy  by  the  Turks,  the  Chiloulis  seldom 
rise  to  situations  of  trust  or  dignity.  Many  are  employed  as  accoun- 
tants and  agents  in  mercantile  houses,  in  which  situation  their  intel- 
ligence and  fidelity  have  become  almost  proverbial.  Although  par- 
taking of  Turk  and  Moor,  they  are  decidedly  most  attached  to  the 
latter.  Numerous,  strong,  and  united,  many  think  that  in  the  future 
revolutions  of  this  place,  a  Chilouli  will  reign  as  Petion,  or  Chris- 
tophe, at  St.  Domingo. 

The  Berberi,  or  Berrebres,  are  the  indigenous  people  of  Barbary. 
to  which  they  have  given  this  name.  They  are  the  descendants  of 
the  Carthaginians,  Getuli,  and  Lybians;  mixed  with  the  Saracen 
invaders  who  entered  Africa,  under  the  inhuman  Kaled  el  Valid, 
sumamed  the  Sword  of  God.  They  inhabit  the  whole  chain  of  the 
Atlas,  near  the  Isthmus  of  Suez,  and  are  the  same  race  as  the  Bere- 


bras,  a  people  of  Upper  Esfypt,  as  also  the  Guanches  of  the  Canaiy 
Islands,  speaking  nearly  the  same  language.  They  are  of  a  very 
athletic  form  :  and  extremely  brave,  and  are  also  remarkable  for  fine 
teeth  and  eyes,  the  pupils  of  which  are  generally  of  a  bright  brown, 
not  unlike  the  gloss  of  antique  bronze.  Neither  fat,  nor  very  fleshy, 
they  are  chiefly  formed  of  nerve  and  muscle.  Although  wrinkled  in 
early  life,  their  vigorous  and  active  habits  keep  off"  the  feeling  of  old 
age,  which  is  only  discovered  by  the  whiteness  of  their  beard  and 
hair:  they  never  speak  of  it,  or  seem  to  know  of  such  an  evil;  and 
whenever  at  the  age  of  seventy,  it  happens  that  they  are  unable  scru- 
pulously to  perform  all  the  offices  of  the  sabbath,  as  enjoined  by  the 
Koran,  they  do  not  accuse  weight  of  years,  but  incantation  and 
sorcery.  Their  dress  is  composed  of  a  shirt  without  sleeves,  and 
short  pantaloons;  the  head  is  shaved  in  front,  leaving  the  hair  behind; 
they  do  not  let  their  beard  grow,  having  merely  a  little  tuft  on  the 
chin  and  mustachios.  They  inhabit  small  cabins  on  the  highest 
mountains,  and  some  find  .shelter  in  caves,  like  the  ancient 
Troglodites.  Their  houses  are  built  of  stone,  or  wood,  and  sur- 
rounded by  a  wall,  which  is  pierced  with  loop-holes,  for  defence  all 
I'ound.  Proud  and  audacious,  they  are  implacable  in  their  hatred.* 
They  are  excellent  swimmers,  and  delight  in  the  chace.  Passionately 
fond  of  their  musket,  they  frequently  expend  seventy  or  eighty 
dollars  to  ornament  it  with  ivory  and  silver.  They  generally  hang 
the  paw  of  a  lion,  or  other  ferocious  beast  of  prey  round  their 
children's  necks  to  inspire  force  and  courage,  and  the  young  brides 
present  their  husbands  with  simular  amulets.  Their  fields  are  well 
cultivated.  Warmly  attached  to  their  native  mountains,  they  preferthe 
higher  grounds,  and  very  rarely  change  their  place  of  abode. 

The  most  numerous  tribe  of  the  Berberi,  known  by  the  name  of 

*  This  part  of  the  Arab's  character  is  fully  illustrated  in  a  curious  anecdote,  p.  77,  of 
Tully's  Residence  in  Tripoly,  one  of  the  most  interesting  and  amusing  works  extant  on 
Barbary. —  Fyd. 


ScluiUa,  are  found  in  Morocco.  In  Algiers  they  are  called  Kabiles, 
or  Cubuil  ;  those  who  inhabit  the  Sahara,  are  styled  Towaricks. 
The  Culmil  are  the  poorest  and  most  filthy.  They  regard  foreigners 
and  travellers  of  every  kind,  with  great  jealousy  :  it  is  on  this  account 
necessary  to  make  them  believe  you  are  looking  for  medicinal  herbs  ; 
for,  like  all  savage  nations,  they  cannot  conceive  that  any  one  travels 
for  instruction  or  amusement.  The  Kabiles  of  Algiers,  are  by  far  the 
most  discontented  and  rebellious  of  all  Barbary.  The  Turks  watch 
them  with  the  utmost  jealousy  and  suspicion,  often  retaining  the  sons 
of  their  chiefs,  as  hostages  for  the  good  conduct  and  fidelity  of  the 
parents.  I  saw  two  of  these  at  Algiers  in  chains,  and  treated  with 
as  much  severit}^  as  the  Christian  slaves.  The  Berberi  obey  foreign 
domination  with  disdain,  while  their  hatred  foments  with  the  ardent 
heat  of  a  burning  sun . 

It  is  scarcely  necessary  to  inform  the  reader,  that  the  Bedouin 
tribes  form  a  very  considerable  portion  of  the  whole  population  of 
Barbary.  Their  name  is  derived  fi'om  Beddui,  an  inhabitant  of  the 
desert,  extending  from  the  sandy  plains  of  Persia  to  Morocco. 
These  people  have  preserved  their  pristine  simplicity  of  manners  and 
customs,  with  singular  constancy  ;  and  still  continue  strongly  attached 
to  the  pastoral  life,  so  well  adapted  to  their  rich  vallies,  wanii  sun, 
and  serene  climate.  Their  language  is  the  Arabic;  which  thev 
pretend  to  speak  in  its  greatest  purity.  Tliere  is  no  nation  on  earth, 
that  has  adhered  so  closely  to  ancient  manners,  and  their  primitive 
mode  of  living,  as  the  Arabs  :  religion  excepted,  they  are  precisely 
what  they  were  in  the  days  of  Job.  A  traveller  arriving  amongst  them, 
is  no  less  surprised  than  delighted,  to  find  their  dress,  manners,  and 
usages,  exactly  as  he  had  seen  them  described  in  history,  and  repre- 
sented on  canvass  :  not  to  mention  their  perfect  conformity  to  the 
accounts  transmitted  by  Pliny,  Strabo,  Leo  Africanus,  and  Pomponius 
Mela  :  so  that  amongst  the  Arabs,  a  modern  traveller  may  fancy 
himself  in  the  midst  of  the  people  of  antiquity. 

Those  tribes  nearest  Algiers,  were  soon  brought  into  subjection, 

170  TUE    BEDOUIN    ARABS. 

and  its  consequent  corruption  ;  but  the  more  remote  ones  still  remain 
free,  retaining-  all  the  pride  of  liberty.  vSome  of  these  Bedouins  are 
frequently  seen  at  the  capital,  half  naked,  and  armed  with  bows  and 
arrows,  mounted  on  fiery  char/?ers.  They  are  generally  distinguished 
by  a  fine  form  and  generous  nature  :  they  boast  of  having  descended 
from  the  patriarchs,  and  are  excessively  vain  of  their  freedom.  Pas- 
sionately fond  of  the  open  country  and  free  air  of  their  native  plains, 
they  cannot  conceive  how  others  dwell  in  the  mephitic  atmosphere  of 
cities.  Although  extremely  well  made,  they  are  by  no  means  hand- 
some in  features.  Like  the  Mulattoes,  their  complexion  is  olive 
coloured,  but  more  inclined  to  brown.  They  are  also  meagre,  and 
very  much  parched  by  the  sun  :  their  eyes  and  teeth  are  equally  fine 
as  those  of  the  Berrebres  ;  while  the  exquisiteness  of  their  senses  is 
proverbial.  By  a  simple  inspection  of  the  soil,  a  Bedouin  will 
know  the  exact  spot  where  water  can  be  found,  however  deep  in  the 
surface;  and  he  hears  its  murmuriugs  at  an  amazing  distance, 
while  his  sense  of  smelling  enables  him  to  trace  the  road  his  camel 
has  recently  passed  over.  In  fact,  there  is,  in  the  genera!  character 
of  this  race,  a  mixture  of  strength  and  generosity  which  always 
attracts  the  attention  of  strangers.  It  is  not  a  single  feature  that  is  to 
be  considered  :  we  should  judge  of  the  entire  physiognomy.  The 
Bedouin  is  also  temperate,  laborious,  and  tolerant  ;  being,  in  cases  of 
emergency,  capable  of  abstaining  from  any  kind  of  food  for  two  or 
three  days  :*  all  which  most  happily  adapts  him  to  the  wandering 
life  he  leads  in  the  desert.  He  is  not  choleric  or  litigious,  like  the 
Moor;  and  when  engaged  in  any  dispute,  he  is  not  only  very 
noisy,   but  often   draws  his  cangiar,    or  dagger  ;   but   scarcely  ever 

*  A  celebrated  French  traveller,  in  speaking  of  this  singular  race,  observes,  "  It  will 
appear  almost  incredible  to  us,  but  it  is  an  undoubted  fact,  that  the  quantity  of  food 
usually  consumed  by  the  greatest  part  of  them,  does  not  exceed  six  ounces  a  day.  Six  or 
seven  dates  soaked  in  melted  butter,  a  little  sweet  milk  or  curds,  serves  a  man  a  whole 
day  ;  and  he  esteems  himself  happy  when  he  can  add  a  small  quantity  of  coarse  flour  or  a 
little  ball  of  rice!"— iS^d. 


uses  it;  and  if,  during  the  most  violent  quarrel,  his  opponent  repeats, 
"  Think  of  God  and  the  prophet,"  the  weapon  is  instantly  put  up, 
and  peace  restored.  Tlieir  vengeance  is  terrible  and  long  cherished: 
as  in  Corsica,  if  one  of  an  Arab  family  is  murdered,  the  most  dis- 
tinguished member  in  that  of  the  assassin's  must  perish,  should  the 
perpetrator  remain  undiscovered.  But  these  resentments  arise  from  a 
keen  sense  of  honor,  and  as  they  believe,  just  retaliation.  AVith  an 
external  appearance  of  severity  and  harshness,  the  Arab  possesses  a 
large  share  of  urbanity,  and  goodness  of  heart.  Trees  should  not  be 
estimated  by  the  ruggedness  of  their  bark,  but  by  the  sweetness  of 
the  fruit  and  beauty  of  their  flowers. 

The  education  given  to  their  youth  is  aljove  all  others  calculated 
to  produce  muscular  strength,  and  an  agility  peculiarly  requisite 
for  the  fatiguing  kind  of  life  to  which  they  are  destined.  AYithout 
absolutely  thwarting  their  natural  inclinations,  parents  never 
submit  to  the  caprices  of  their  offspring.  This  has  the  effect  of  deve- 
loping the  faculties  at  a  very  early  age  ;  and  as  he  is  completely 
uninfluenced  by  the  terrors  of  a  parental  brow,  the  Arab  youth 
generally  delivers  his  sentiments  with  firmness  and  courage.  He 
must  speak  sensibly,  if  he  wishes  to  ensure  a  reply.  Treated,  in  fact, 
like  a  man,  he  acquires  the  ambition  of  deserving  it. 

The  costume  of  the  Bedouins  is  extremely  picturesque  :  their  hair 
is  very  short,  and  the  head  sometimes  enveloped  with  a  linen  band  ; 
turbans  are  not  worn,  and  but  few  make  use  of  caps  or  sandals.  The 
principal  covering  consists  of  a  cloth  five  or  six  feet  wide,  and  nine  in 
length,  called  an  elhaik:  this  is  a  species  of  white  woollen  cloth, 
bearing  some  resemblance  to  the  Merino  manufacture.  Although  the 
haik  gives  both  grace  and  majesty  to  the  wearer,  it  must  from  constant 
falling  off*  the  shoulder  and  interruption  in  walking,  be  very  inconve- 
nient, though  custom  most  probably  removes  the  difficulty  with  the 
Arabs.  There  is,  however,  a  considerable  degree  of  elegance  in  the 
mode  of  replacing  the  haik  whenever  it  becomes  deranged  :  the  fre- 
quency of  this  circvimstance  renders  a  band  necessary  :  hence  the 
scriptural  phrase  "  to  have  the  loins  girt."    The  finer  kind  of  haik 

z  2 

172  THE    BEDOUIX    ARAIÌ!«, 

are  those  which  the  ancients  called  peplus,  which  Euripides  styled 
vestures  that  trailed  alone:,  Jind  Eschylus  cloak  descending  down 
to  the  feet.  It  was  also  no  doubt  the  toga  of  Rome,  as  it  bears  the 
strongest  resemblance  to  many  of  the  draperies  seen  on  the  statues  of 
senators,  and  other  citizens  of  the  empire.  The  Bedouins  have 
besides  an  outer  mantle,  called  bernousse  :  this  is  composed  of  one 
entire  piece,  narrow  at  the  neck,  and  liaving  a  hood  to  cover  the 
head.  This  cloak  is  like  the  pallium  of  the  Romans;  and  when  the 
hood  is  over,  may  be  compared  to  the  cardocucullus  of  the  Gaiils. 
Some  wear  a  covering  under  the  haik,  not  milike  the  Roman  tunic. 
The  men  tie  the  haik  with  a  cord,  which  is  fastened  in  the  form  of  a 
turban;  while  the  women  attach  it  together  by  a  silver  clasp.  Nearly 
all  the  Bedouins  go  barefooted,  except  in  riding,  when  large  boots 
are  worn.  The  lower  classes  generally  go  with  their  heads  uncovered; 
but  the  rich  wear  a  small  scarlet  cap,  on  which  is  a  species  of  turban, 
the  order  and  number  of  whose  folds,  as  in  China,  denotes  the  rank 
of  the  wearer,  and  whether  he  is  a  military  man  or  merchant.  This 
cap  seems  to  be  the  tiara  of  the  ancients,  and,  in  fact,  many  of 
their  coins  bear  one  exactly  like  it. 

The  bands  are  of  wool,  and  worked  with  a  good  deal  of  taste, 
representing  various  figures  and  emblems  :  they  are  sufficiently  long 
to  go  round  the  waist  several  times,  and  answer  to  the  zone  of  the 
Greeks.  On  going  out,  the  bernousse  is  thrown  carelessly  over  the 
shoulder  :  should  it  rain  they  take  it  off,  and  it  is  not  put  on  again 
until  the  shower  is  over.  The  sheich  is  another  cloak  worn  by  the 
Bedouins,  which  reaches  down  below  the  knees,  and  has  a  much  finer 
hood  than  the  bernousse.  The  Arab  always  carries  a  cangiar,  and 
when  travelling  is  furnished  with  a  sword,  which  is  suspended  from 
the  left  shoulder  ;  also  a  musket,  with  which  he  scarcely  ever  misses 
his  mark.  Notwithstanding  the  laws  of  Algiers  prohibit  any 
persons  but  the  Turkish  soldiery  from  bearing  arms,  the  wandering 
Bedouin  treats  them  with  silent  disdain  ;  and  like  his  Saracen  ances- 
tors never  fails  to  carry  the  means  of  redress  about  him. 

The  dress  of  the  Arab  females  is  also  composed  of  a  haik,.  under 


which  a  chemise  and  pantaloons  are  worn  :  the  upper  part  of  the  haik 
is  converted  into  a  species  of  sack,  for  the  purpose  of  carryhig  their 
youngest  children,  who  always  accompany  the  mother.  The  head  is 
covered  with  a  kind  of  handkerchief,  called  sarnah:  this  is  very 
much  interwoven  with  gold  and  silver  threads.  An  additional  orna- 
ment worn  with  it,  consists  of  a  triangular  piece  of  linen,  embroidered 
and  coloured  with  considerable  art,  which  hangs  down  the  back,  and 
terminating  by  the  appearance  of  a  lock  of  hair,  has  a  particularly 
graceful  effect.  It  is  customary  for  the  Arab  women  to  wear  their 
hair  excessively  long,  sometimes  reaching  to  the  ground;  and  those, 
whom  nature  has  not  blest  with  this  mark  of  beauty,  obtain  false  locks, 
which  being  put  into  the  finest  kind  of  silk  net,  is  agitated  in  playful 
undulation  over  the  shoulders.  They  are  extremely  fond  of  coral  and 
pearls  :  in  the  absence  of  these,  various  ornaments,  composed  of  shells 
and  teeth  of  fish,  are  substituted  on  the  neck,  ancles,  and  wrists, 
Tatooing  is  also  practised,  though  not  to  a  very  great  extent.  One  of 
the  most  highly  esteemed  graces  of  the  Arab  female,  is  that  of  ting- 
ing the  eyebrows  and  lids  with  black  lead  pulverized  :  this  is  still 
farther  enhanced  by  drawing  several  circles  round  the  eye  with  the 
same  material  :  a  custom  which  is,  I  believe,  peculiar  to  all  the  savage 
tribes  of  the  East,  who  make  use  of  the  idimous  sirmet .  The  circum- 
.stance  of  being  on  a  journey,  or  occupied  in  the  labours  of  the  field, 
never  prevents  the  women  from  wearing  their  richest  ornaments; 
arising  either  from  their  not  knowing  the  use  of  cabinets  and  cases,  oi- 
perhaps  from  vanity  ;  which,  even  in  their  solitary  mode  of  lii'e,  seems 
to  be  a  quality  inherent  in  their  nature.  An  Arab  beauty  is  thus 
described  by  Hariri  and  Montannabi,  two  of  their  celebrated  jioets  : 
"  Her  person  ought  to  be  slender,  like  the  bending  rush,  or  long 
lance  of  Yemen  ;  with  flanks  of  such  magnitude  that  they  can  scarcely 
pass  the  entrance  of  the  tent  ;  two  pomegranates  rising  on  a  bosom  of 
alabaster;  eyes,  piercing  and  languid  like  those  of  the  gazelle; 
arched  eyebrows,  hair  black  and  curling,  waving  over  a  neck,  as 
long  as  the  camel's  !"  Some  of  the  Bedouin  women  are  as  expert  in 
managing-  the  barb  as  the  men  ;  and  whenever  they  find  it  necessary 


to  address  the  Dey,  they  display  a  degree  of  quickness,  courage,  and 
eloquence,  which  is  really  surprising. 

The  Bedouins  eat  a  great  quantity  of  bread  at  their  meals  ;  and 
would  be  in  a  sad  plight  were  they  set  down  at  a  table  in  London  or 
Amsterdam,  where  one  can  hardly  distinguish  the  morsel  which  is 
put  near  his  plate.  In  the  cities  of  Barbary,  there  are  regular  bakers 
who  prepare  the  bread  in  ovens  ;  but  amongst  the  Arabs,  no  leaven 
is  used.  "  Ye  shall  eat  nothing  leavened  ;  in  all  your  habitations 
shall  ye  eat  unleavened  bread."— Exod.  c.  xii.  ;  the  flour  being  simply 
mi  Ked  with  water,  and  when  made  into  cakes,  are  either  roasted  on 
the  fire  or  put  into  a  pan,  called  tayen,  which  is  exactly  similar  both 
as  to  use  and  fonn  to  the  tagenon  of  the  Greeks  and  Jews.  And  as 
in  Leviticus,  that  which  is  baked  in  the  tagenon,  is  called  after  it  ; 
so,  amongst  the  Arabs,  the  bread  is  called  tayen,  from  the  vessel  in 
which  it  is  prepared.  The  paste  composed  of  ground  wheat  or  rice, 
which  they  fry  in  the  tayen,  is  what  we  call  donzelle,  in  Tuscany.* 
But  as  we  sometimes  remain  for  ages,  without  arriving  at  a  discovery 
which  touches  immediately  on  one  already  made,  the  Bedouins  were, 
on  my  arrival  at  Algiers,  ignorant  of  the  mode  in  which  we  mix  the 
flour  and  make  it  unite,  so  as  to  fiy  it  with  oil.  This  in  the  Florentine 
territory  is  called  migliacciuole.  It  was,  therefore,  reserved  for  me 
to  cross  the  sea  from  a  distant  land,  and  disseminate  a  new  discoveiy  in 
Africa  !  Its  communication  was  received  with  the  utmost  gratitude  ; 
so  much  so,  that  I  almost  expected  to  be  waited  on  by  a  deputation 
of  the  tribes  to  return  thanks,  having  heard  that  my  name  had  been 
even  inscribed  as  a  general  benefactor  on  several  palm  trees.  From 
it,  also,  the  savory  dish  was  christened,  punantelle  ;  for  which  I  shall, 
no  doubt,  be  rendered  famous  in  Africa,  for  having  given  my  name  to 
a  palatable  cake.  Mine  will,  perhaps,  on  some  futme  day,  bear  an 
humble  comparison  with  that  of  my  distinguished  countryman,  who 

*  The  Italian  tourist  will,  no  doubt,  be  reminded  of  the  immense  pan  containing 
this  favourite  preparation,  which  is  sold  in  all  the  towns  of  Italy;  more  particularly  at 
Rome,  Florence,  and  Genoa. —  Ed. 


gave  his  to  the  American  continent.  The  benefits  we  render  our 
fellow  creatures,  are  amply  repaid  by  their  gratitude.  The  incense 
nourishes  the  flame  which  difliises  it  around,  while  the  latter  serves 
to  develope  the  odoriferous  perfume. 

The  custom  of  eating  together,  like  the  heroes  of  Homer,  and 
people  of  Caledonia,  in  the  days  of  Ossian  and  Fingal,  is  amongst 
the  Arabs  an  inviolable  guarantee  of  fidelity  in  keeping  their  word, 
and  acting  up  to  promised  friendship.  When  tvvo  chiefs  meet,  the 
bows  are  bent,  and  attaghans  drawn  :  this  is  followed  by  one  of  each 
tribe  stepping  forward  ;  they  seat  themselves  :  a  bowl  is  then  filled 
with  coffee  or  milk  ;  they  drink  together  ;  and  this  simple  ceremony 
ended,  the  tribes  are  united  in  the  closest  bonds  of  friendship.  If  you  sit 
down  with  an  Arab,  eat  bread  and  salt  with  him,  and  receive  a  verbal 
pledge  of  security  ;  you  may,  without  further  apprehension,  go  through 
the  whole  country  of  his  tribe.* 

The  Bedouins  are  Mahometans,  and  like  the  whole  of  that  terri- 
ble sect  filled  with  innumerable  superstitions  of  the  most  extravagant 
description  :  they  are  loaded  with  charms  and  amulets,  to  prevent  the 
influence  of  magic  and  enchantment  ;  they  have  their  climacteric  num- 
ber, which  is  five,  and  considered  as  particularly  ominous.  "  Five  in 
your  eyes,"  is  one  of  the  greatest  imprecations  :  another,  not  less  effi- 
cacious in  their  opinion,  is  performed  by  drawing  the  hand  over  the 
eyes,  and  pronouncing  the  word  capsa.  On  sitting  down  to  eat,  however, 
or  at  the  commencement  of  any  undertaking,  they  repeat  Bismillah, 
"  in  the  name  of  God;"  and  when  the  meal  is  at  an  end,  Allamandillah, 
"■  God  be  praised."  On  saluting  each  other,  they  raise  their  hand  to  the 
heart,  saying,  Salum  aleikum,  "peace  be  with  thee:"  this  is  answered 
by  Allikum  essutum,  "  peace  be  also  with  you."  To  those  of  another 
persuasion,  they  merely  say,  *SV6M/ec/<ai//iand^«Me6  salamet,  "friend, 
how  art  thou  i"     The  usual  posture  assiuned  when  saluting,  is  that  of 

*  A   curious  illustration   of  this  fact  will   be   found  in  TuUy's  Tripoli,  Pages  79, 
and  80.— AV. 


placing  the  right  hand  on  the  breast;  and  this  is  a  gesture  of  uncommou 
dignity.  Amongst  very  intimate  friends  and  equals,  they  reciprocally 
kiss  the  forehead  and  shoulders.  The  lower  classes  of  society  salute 
the  knees  of  their  superiors  as  a  mark  of  respect.  Whenever  they 
meet  in  the  desert,  they  shake  hands  five  or  six  times,  each  kissing 
his  own  as  often  as  it  has  been  presented  to  his  fiiend  ;  who  then 
attempts  to  repeat  the  same  ceremony  with  the  others  ;  but  this  sign  of 
submission  is  rejected,  until  both  parties  begin  to  get  tired  of  saluta- 
tion, which  is  annoying  even  in  the  desert  :  the  oldest  suffers  the  other 
to  kiss  his  fingers.  The  better  educated  generally  salute  each  other's 
cheek.  During  Bairam  and  other  solemn  feasts,  wives,  by  the  way 
of  paying  a  high  compliment  to  husbands,  kiss  their  hands. 

The  sole  occupation  of  the  Arabs  is  confined  to  the  care  of  their 
flocks,  horses,  the  chace,  and  war.  When  called  to  the  field,  the  wives, 
children,  and  herds  follow,  in  order  that  the  sight  of  such  endearing 
objects  may  excite  them  to  acts  of  heroism  and  valour.  If  they 
betray  any  symptoms  of  fear,  and  are  vanquished,  they  are  reproved 
by  their  wives  in  the  manner  of  the  Spartan  heroines.  They  have  very 
few  laws,  and  can  do  without  them,  while  their  wants  continue  so 
Ihnited  :  presei-ving  the  same  simplicity  of  manners,  they  pursue  the 
unifonn  tenor  of  their  past  life.  Like  the  Samoides,  who  when  called 
upon  by  the  Autocrat  of  all  the  Riissias,  to  assist  in  compiling  an 
universal  code  for  the  empire,  answered,  that  they  did  not  seek  for 
laws  ;  and  prayed  his  imperial  majesty  to  give  them  to  some  of  their 
neighbours  who  might  be  more  in  want  of  legislative  regulations. 
]3very  one  recollects  the  story  of  the  navigator,  who,  thrown  upon  a 
desert  shore,  was  alarmed  lest  he  should  be  devoured  by  beasts  of 
prey,  but  discovering  a  gibbet  upon  which  a  man  had  been  recently 
suspended,  joyfully  exclaimed,  "  thank  Heaven  !  I  am  then  amongst 
civilized  people  !" 

All  the  riches  of  these  people  consist  in  their  flocks  ;  besides 
which,  many  of  the  chiefs  keep  droves  of  camels  for  the  transport  of 
merchandize.     They  slaughter  very  few  cattle,  being  satisfied  with 


the  wool  and  milk.  The  women  superintend  the  bee-hive,  and  attend 
to  the  2:ro\vth  of  the  silk-worm  ;  they  also  weave  stuifs  and  linen,  on 
looms  arranged  for  that  purpose  in  the  tents:  instead  of  a  shuttle, 
their  fingers  are  used  to  pass  the  thread  :  after  the  manner  of  Penelope, 
Andromache,  and  the  matrons  of  Rome,  their  task  is  conducted  with 
incredible  assiduity.  Like  the  daughters  of  Judea,  they  go  to  the 
distant  wells  every  evening,  to  fetch  water  for  the  camels,  and  for 
domestic  purposes.  They  are,  however,  somewhat  less  accommodating 
than  Dinah  ;  for  if  a  stranger  addresses  them,  they  instantly  let  their 
veil  fall,  and  thus  hide  every  feature,  as  Rebecca  did  on  the  first  sight 
of  Isaac*  If  a  stranger  happens  to  be  passing  on  the  same  road,  they 
sit  down  with  their  backs  towards  him  until  he  is  out  of  sight.  They 
also  grind  the  corn,  having  small  hand  grind-stones  for  that  purpose  ; 
precisely  the  machine  alluded  to  by  Moses  and  our  Saviour.  There  is 
another  mill,  yet  more  portable,  which  is  carried  with  those  who  take 
long  journies.  The  women  make  a  very  good  stuff  out  of  camel  and 
goat's  hair  :  the  preparation  of  morocco  leather  is  also  an  object  of 
female  industry.  The  skins  are  worked  down  to  the  texture  of  paper, 
and  tinged  with  various  colours,  serving  a  great  variety  of  useful  pur- 
poses. They  make  bridles  out  of  one  piece  :  and  there  are  itinerant 
jewellers,  who  manufacture  rings  and  other  ornaments  for  both  sexes. 
When  a  young  man  wishes  to  marry  a  Bedouin  female,  he 
declares  his  intention  to  her  father  ;  and  if  approved,  is  received  with 
civility  :  the  parent  then  descants  on  the  merits  of  his  daughter,  and 
fecundity  of  her  mother,  which  promises  the  same  inestimable  quality 
in  the  child.  When  once  the  father's  promise  is  given,  he  calls 
upon  the  suitor  for  a  certain  number  of  cows  and  oxen,  as  a  sign  of 
gratitude  tor  so  meritorious  a  partner.     The  intended  bridegroom  soon 

*  It  is  really  wonderful  to  reflect  on  the  undeviating  constancy  with  which  the  patriar- 
chal manners  and  customs  have  been  transmitted  through  so  many  centuries  of  darkness 
and  revolution  to  the  present  times.  So  striking  is  the  similitude  between  all  the  modes  of 
living  adopted  by  the  Bedouins,  that  the  best  description  we  have  of  them  is  little  more  than 
a  repetition  of  what  all  have  read  in  the  beautiful  simplicity  of  the  scriptures. — Ed. 

A  A 


ai  ter  conducts  the  required  offering  with  all  due  solemnity  before  the 
tent  of  his  future  tather-in-law  ;  who  then  communicates  the  proposal 
to  his  daughter,  upon  which  she  graciously  prepares  to  receive  her 
lover.  The  relatives  and  friends  of  the  bride  are  then  invitetl,  and  the 
young  man  being  introduced,  is  asked  how  much  he  lias  given  for  his 
wiie  Ì  He  replies,  that  a  wise  and  industrious  m  oman  costs  nothing. 
After  this,  all  the  young  virgins  of  the  neighbourhood  place  the  bride 
on  horseback,  and  conduct  her  to  the  tent  of  the  bridegroom,  where 
she  is  immediately  presented  by  the  husband's  friends  with  a  beverage 
composed  of  milk  and  honey,  as  a  symbol  of  the  future  harmony  and 
sweetness  of  their  union  ;  while  she  drinks,  the  attendant  maidens 
sing  an  epithalamium.  The  bride  then  alights,  and  taking  a  stake 
which  is  presented  to  her,  she  drives  it  into  the  earth  as  far  as  her 
strength  will  allow  ;  repeating,  "  like  this  stake,  which  will  never 
change  its  position,  without  force  is  employed  to  draw  it  up,  so  will  I 
never  abandon  my  husband,  unless  it  should  please  him  to  discard 

This  ceremony  concluded,  she  is  next  shewn  the  flocks  which  are 
destined  to  be  under  her  future  care  :  these  she  takes  to  the  adjoining 
meadows  for  some  time  ;  and  on  her  return,  another  ìjowl  of  milk  is 
presented,  in  Avhich  is  put  a  small  bit  of  the  husband's  tent  :  while  she 
drinks,  the  company  sing  verses  in  praise  of  the  parties,  and  finish  by 
imploring  the  blessing  of  Heaven  on  their  heads,  together  with  the 
possession  of  large  flocks  and  many  children.  The  day  being  past  in 
festivity,  the  friends  retire  ;  leaving  the  bride  in  the  arms  of  her 

Contrary  to  the  austere  custom  of  the  Moors,  the  Arab  shepherd 
is  allowed  to  see  the  object  of  his  affections  some  time  before  marriage  ; 
and  this  interval  he  frequently  employs  in  proving,  by  various  delicate 
attentions,  the  force  of  his  passion.  Besides  his  nightly  visit  to  the 
vicinity  of  her  tent,  he  occasionally  salutes  her  ear  with  a  serenade  ; 
while  in  the  day-time,  the  language  of  the  eye  only  serves  to  fan  the 
flame  created  by  his  nocturnal  assiduities.     It  is  thus  that  the  young 

CHARACTER    OF    THE    ARAB.  179 

and  ardent  Bedouin  is  enableil  to  enjoy  the  first  of  human  e^ratifica- 
tions,  that  of  selecting  a  woman  of  his  own  choice.  Inestimable 
blessing  !  rarely  met  with  in  more  civilized  society.  A  female  of 
great  feeling  and  animation,  used  to  say  :  ""  my  father  wishes  to 
marry  me  to  a  man  of  talent;  my  motlier,  to  one  who  cuts  a  great 
figure  in  the  world  ;  and  my  uncle  to  one  who  is  very  rich  ;  but 
give  me  the  man  whom  I  can  love  !" 

With  all  this  haj)py  freedom  of  choosing  a  partner,  the  young 
Bedouins  never  marry  without  their  parents'  entire  approbation: 
besides,  they  are  more  intent  on  seeking  a  wife,  than  on  adding  to  the 
number  of  u.seless  admirers.  "  Why,"  asks  an  English  writer,  "  are  so 
few  girls  married  now-a-days  J"  Because  there  are  more  wlio  think  of 
making  nets  than  cages  ! 

The  Arab  is  modest,  serious,  and  scarcely  ever  laughs  :  he  tells 
you  that  smiles  are  only  intended  by  nature  to  ornament  the  counte- 
nance of  women  :  he  speaks  with  gravity,  and  not  until  some 
moments  after  the  person  he  may  be  conversing  with,  has  ceased. 
He  is  neither  fond  of  jokes  nor  scandal:  thinking  the  one  proceeds 
from  littleness  of  mind,  and  the  other  a  wicked  disposition.  The  joy 
of  the  sage  is  seen  and  not  heard.  AVith  all  the  Arab  is  neitjier 
melancholy,  silent,  nor  sedentary.  He  is  fond  of  roving,  seeing,  and 
conversing.  The  crowds  and  activity  observable  amongst  the  tribes  is 
almost  incredible  :  you  meet  people  constantly  coming  and  going,  where 
any  tribe  is  established.  There  are  fairs  and  markets  held  through- 
out the  week  except  on  Friday  ;  and  numberless  bands  of  dancers, 
conjurors,  and  mountebanks  are  always  in  attendance,  servino  either 
to  amuse  the  people  or  impose  their  medicinal  quackeries  on  the 
credulity  of  the  multitude.*  If  an  European  visits  them,  it  follows  of 
course  tliat  he  is  a  doctor,  and  possesses  saphies  for  the  cure  of  every 
disease:  these  he  must  immediately  set  about  writing,  and  when  dis- 

*  As  the  more  decorous  mode  of  passing  the  Sabbath  in  this  country  has  not  produced 
any  sensible  eifect  on  our  Gallic  neighbours,  perhaps  they  may  be  induced  to  take  a  leaf  out 
of  the  Arab's  book  of  morality? — Ed. 

A  A  2 

180  ARAB    POETS. 

tributed  to  the  wondering  Arabs,  they  are  instantly  suspended  round 
the  neck,  and  must  shortly  perform  miracles  on  the  credulous  patient. 

In  the  gentle  uniformity  of  the  pastoral  life,  with  their  serene 
nights,  and  tranquil  atmosphere,  those  of  a  more  refined  understand- 
ing amongst  the  Arabs,  study  the  arts  and  sciences  ;  and  poetry  is  not 
forgotten.  A  good  poet  is  sure  of  obtaining  every  distinction  :  they  sing 
the  battles  and  tales  of  love,  in  heroic  and  tender  strains.  The  sheiks 
and  even  piinces  do  not  think  themselves  degraded  by  attending  their 
flocks  :  and  while  the  latter  feed,  they  are  employed  in  composing 
verses  in  praise  of  a  country  life  ;  the  tranquillity  of  pastoral  pursuits, 
and  .serene  days  experienced  by  the  patriarchs  of  old,  who  were 
blessed  with  the  approbation  and  support  of  Heaven.  I  heard  the 
lines  of  a  young  bard,  which  seemed  to  breathe  a  considerable  degree 
of  spirit  and  expression  :  they  related  the  prowess  of  an  Arab  prince, 
who  had  destroyed  a  fierce  giant  that  had  been  the  terror  of  his 
tribe  ;  he  then  described  the  courage  and  valour  of  a  Bedouin,  who 
struck  down  a  furious  lion  one  night,  while  going  to  visit  a  young 
female,  whose  gait  was  majestic,  and  eyes  more  beautiful  than  those 
of  the  gazelle  I 

A  collection  of  the  finest  maxims,  and  choicest  compositions, 
are  generally  learned  by  heart,  and  forms  a  material  part  in  the  educa- 
tion of  an  Arab  :  by  which  poetry  is  restored  to  its  natural  intention 
and  original  ;  that  of  transmitting  historical  events,  celebrat- 
ing the  actions  of  the  brave,  instructing  young  societies,  or  those  who 
have  retained  their  primitive  simplicity. 

ARAB    TRIBES.  181 


Account  of  the  Kabiles  and  Arab  Tribes. —  The  Himas. —  Tents. — Dowers. — 
Encampments. —Dascars,  or  Arab  Villages. —  The  Sheiks. —  The  Plunder- 
ing Arabs. — Anecdotes  respecting  them. 

The  Bedouins  are  divided  into  many  scattered  tribes,  called 
Kabiles,  and  vulgarly  Nege;  but  it  is  necessary  to  distinguish  the 
wandering  Arabs,  from  those  who  have  a  fixed  residence.  In  the 
deserts  of  Persia  and  Syria,  most  of  the  land  is  susceptible  of  culti- 
vation, and  is  besides  generally  well  watered  ;  but  neither  of  these 
cases  can  apply  to  the  arid  sands  of  Africa,  where  verdure  is  so 
scarce,  that  their  inhabitants  are  obliged  to  go  in  search  of  it,  like 
the  Calinucks  and  Tartars.  Some  tribes,  however,  remain  stationary 
for  several  years  :  while  others,  frequently  change  their  position, 
paying  a  small  quit  rent  for  the  lands  they  cultivate,  or  upon  which 
their  flocks  are  permitted  to  range.  When  the  families  become  too 
numerous,  they  separate  :  one  party  going  to  the  right,  and  the  other 
to  the  left,  like  the  progeny  of  Abraham  and  Lot.*  In  journeying 
from  one  station  to  another,  three  women  are  carried  by  each  camel, 
while  the  children  and  young  lambs  are  containedin  panniers  suspended 
on  each  side,  and  the  fowls  roost  on  the  neck  and  bunch.  On  these 
occasions  the  males  go  on  foot,  for  the  purpose  of  keeping  together 
and  directing  the  flocks,  their  muskets  being  hung  up  to  the  pummel 

*  This  is  another  very  striking  coincidence,  between  the  customs  of  the  Arabs,  and 
their  remote  ancestors  of  the  East.  "  Is  not  the  whole  land  before  thee?  Separate  thyself, 
I  pray  thee,  from  me  :  if  thou  wilt  take  the  left  hand,  then  I  will  go  to  the  right  ;  or  if 
thou  depart  to  the  right  hand,  then  I  will  go  to  the  left."  Genesis,  Chap.  XIII. — Ed. 

182  ATTEMPT    TO    UNITE    THE    TRIBES. 

of  the  camel's  saddle.  It  is  thus,  that  an  Arab  faiuily  travels  when 
in  search  of  a  new  establishment. 

Some  of  the  tribes  are  both  numerous  and  powerful,  such  as  the 
Beni  Mezzaab,  near  the  Desert  of  Angad  ;  the  Psummata,  a  warlike 
tribe  towards  Mount  Atlas;  the  Gamma,  inhabiting  the  mountains 
of  Couco  ;  Beni  Abbas,  on  the  great  road  to  Constantina  ;  and  the 
Bedouins  of  the  Zaab,  who  are  descended  irom  the  ancient  Melano- 
getuli.  These  tribes  generally  take  the  names  of  their  original  chiefs 
or  founders,  merely  adding  the  word  Beni.  They  frequently  form 
dilterent  camps,  all  of  which  place  themselves  under  the  direction  of 
a  single  emir  of  their  own  election  :  this  chief  has  sometimes  as  many 
as  three  hundred  under  his  orders.*  Such  associations  are  rendered 
necessary  to  defend  them  from  the  oppression  of  the  Turks  :  as,  to 
avoid  insult,  they  must  possess  force,  which  can  alone  ensure  protec- 
tion :  he  who  knoMS  how  to  make  himself  feared,  is  generally 

Tliere  was  some  years  ago,  an  Arab  named  Abuferez,  of  great 
courage  and  intelligence,  who  attempted  to  unite  all  the  Kabiles  in 
the  vicinity  of  Mount  Atlas.  But,  instead  of  forming  a  powerful 
league,  like  the  Iriquois  of  America,  the  Persian  Afghans,  or 
Rohillas  of  Hindostan,  the  African  Arabs  are  only  intent  on  making 
war  upon  each  other;  and  the  Turks,  who  are  actively  employed  in 
fomenting  their  quarrels,  do  not  fail  to  profit  by  them.  When  I 
asked  why  they  did  not  form  one  general  alliance  under  a  single 
pow  erful  chief,  they  informed  me,  it  arose  from  the  apprehension  of 
their  making  a  tyrant  for  themselves  ;  and  that  it  was  infinitely  better 
to  suffer  temporary  vexations,  than  a  state  of  constant  oppression.  I 
am,  however,  fully  of  opinion,  that  the  Bedouins  under  an  intrepid  and 
fortunate  chief,  would  become  an  independent,  powerful,  and  happy 
people  ;    as  the  Drusi  and  Binnans  of  the  East  did,  when  led  on  by 

•*  "  Eacb  camp  has  its  respective  sheik,  but  the\phi  ef  of  the  tribe  is  entitled  El  Kiber, 
the  great  sheik."  Keatinge,  Vol.  I.  p.  327,  where  the  manners  and  customs  of  the  Arab 
tribes  are  very  ably  illustrated. — Ed. 

MODE    OF    LIVING.  18;J 

Fac  Jardin  and  Alompia  :  divided  and  discordant,  their  patrimony 
can  only  be  weakness  and  slavery.  "  We  should  not,"  says  an 
oriental  proverb,  "  separate  the  sun  which  lightens  and  vivifies  the 
universe  into  so  many  fixed  stars,  that  only  serve  the  more  to  attest 
the  presence  of  darkness." 

The  tents  under  which  the  wandering  Arabs  live,  are  called  Himas, 
from  the  shade  they  afl^brd  ;  and  Beef  el  Shaar,  meaning  houses  of 
skins  and  hair.  Tliese  tents  differ  in  size,  and  are  supported  by  two 
or  three  poles  from  eight  to  ten  feet  high,  and  about  four  inches  in 
diameter,  upon  which  several  hooks  are  fixed  to  hang  their  clothes 
and  arms  on.  Thus  we  see  in  the  story  of  Judith,  that  the  scymetar 
of  Holofernes  was  suspended  on  the  props  of  his  tent.  The  bed  and 
entrance  is  folded,  in  the  same  manner  we  read  of  in  the  habitations 
of  the  ancient  people  of  Mesopotamia. 

The  tents  liave  a  conic  form,  and  seldom  exceed  ten  feet  in  height  : 
they  are  fastened  together  by  thongs  cut  out  of  goat's  skin,  twisted 
camel's  hair,  or  slips  from  the  leaves  of  the  palm  tree  ;  and  at  a  little 
distance  have  the  appearance  of  boats  reversed.  They  keep  the  water 
out  very  well,  and  are  consequently  a  great  refuge  in  the  desert  : 
though  from  their  dark  colour,  they  are  I'ar  from  pleasing  to  the  eye. 
The  chief's  tent  is  always  placed  in  the  centre  of  the  camp,  and  has  a 
greater  elevation  than  the  rest  ;  next  to  this  is  the  one  intended  for  the 
reception  of  all  strangers  who  may  come  to  demand  hospitality  or 
protection.  The  camps  are  generally  formed  in  the  shape  of  a  circle  or 
crescent,  and  the  tents  in  parallel  lines  :  round  the  whole,  a  thorny 
hedge-row  is  planted.  Their  flocks  are,  during  the  night,  placed  inside 
this,  while  the  dogs  keep  watch  outside.  One  of  the  tents  is  left  empty  to 
serve  for  a  mosque:  to  this  the  children  repair  at  sun-rise  every  morn- 
ing, in  order  to  recite  a  prayer  which  is  engraved  on  a  board  suspended 
from  the  centre,  and  aftei-wards  they  learn  their  lesson  :  which  is  done 
with  much  apparent  satisfaction.  They  then  run  to  embrace  their  mas- 
ter, who  does  not  treat  them  like  a  bombastic  pedagogue  ;  but  rathey 
as  his  own  children.     When  the  Arabs  begin  to  have  a  large  family, 


tliey  provide  another  tent;  and  if  a  son  marries,  the  father  is 
obliged  to  give  him  a  certain  quantity  of  cattle  and  grain,  to  establish 
himself  in  the  neighbourhood  :  his  furniture  consists  of  a  portable 
mill  fomied  out  of  two  small  pieces  of  granite,  a  large  basket,  and  two 
or  three  pans  to  soak  bread  in  milk,  prepare  rice,  &c. 

A  stranger  is  always  well  received  at  the  tent  of  an  Arab.  When- 
ever a  traveller  loses  his  way  in  the  desert,  or  is  in  want  of  shelter,  and 
sees  towards  night,  a  column  of  smoke,  hears  the  barking  of  dogs,  or 
lambs  bleating  ;  these  are  sure  indications  of  his  being  near  a  Bedouin 
camp.  Towards  them  he  directs  his  steps  :  and  on  approaching  the 
pastor's  door,  it  is  immediately  opened  ;  and  followed  up  by  his  receiv- 
ing the  marabbas,  or  salutation  of  peace  :  he  is  then  presented 
with  a  bowl  of  milk  and  basket  of  grapes,  dried  figs  and  dates  : 
such  is  the  prelude  for  that  night's  hospitality.  The  host  soon  after, 
takes  a  lamb  or  kid  out  of  the  field,  slaughters  it  with  his  own  hand  ; 
and  when  skinned,  presents  it  to  his  wife,  who  proceeds  to  dress 
a  part,  reserving  some  for  the  kab-ab,  or  broil  of  the  next  moiTiing  : 
which  is  intended  for  the  traveller's  breakfast  previous  to  his  depar- 
ture ;  or  if  he  chooses,  it  is  given  to  refresh  him  on  his  joxirney.  It 
was  thus  that  the  three  angels  were  treated  who  presented  themselves 
at  the  Patriarch's  tent.  "  And  Abraham  ran  unto  the  herd,  and  fetcht 
a  calf  tender  and  good,  and  gave  it  unto  a  young  man,  and  he  has- 
tened to  dress  it."    Gen.  xviii. 

Upon  these  occasions,  the  head  of  tlie  family  is  invariably  the 
most  officious  in  his  attentions.  As  it  is  usually  the  custom  in  those 
regions  for  travellers  to  go  bare-footed,  or  only  with  sandals,  on  arriv- 
ing at  the  hospitable  Bedouins,  their  feet  are  instantly  washed,  and 
ointment  presented  for  the  hair  ;  nor  does  the  host  sit  down  to  eat  with 
his  guest,  but  remains  standing-  and  performing  the  office  of  an  atten- 
dant while  he  is  at  table. 

It  would  indeed  be  extremely  difficult  to  find  any  people  on  earth 
more  truly  hospitable  than  the  Arab  tribes  ;  or  amongst  whom  that  fine 
vÌT*tue,  the  unequivocal  proof  of  liberal  sentiments,    is  exercised  with 


greater  delicacy.  An  Arab,  named  Thaleb,  had  the  misfortune  of 
killing  the  father  of  the  emir  Alcasar  in  a  quarrel  :  the  latter, 
inspired  by  an  implacable  spirit  of  revenge,  went  out  in  daily  search 
of  the  murderer.  At  length  a  stranger  presented  himself  and  demanded 
the  rites  of  hospitality  ;  Alcasar  treated  him  with  the  most  assiduous 
and  generous  attentions.  The  following  day  he  went  out  to  pursue  the 
usual  search,  and  returned  in  the  evening,  filled  with  melancholy  at 
the  ill  success  of  his  endeavours.  Shortly  after,  the  visitor  enquired 
the  cause  of  his  sadness  :  when  Alcasar  declared,  that  he  was  looking 
for  a  certain  Thaleb,  who  slew  his  father.  "  No  longer  search  for 
your  enemy  ;"  replied  the  stranger,  removing  a  false  beard  which  he 
had  assumed  :  "  the  unhappy  Thaleb  stands  before  you  !"  "  Oh, 
Heavens  I"  exclaimed  the  astonished  emir.  "Can  it  be  possible? 
But  you  are  my  guest  ;  take  this  purse,  fly  from  my  dwelling  :  and  I 
will  then  determine  on  what  ought  to  be  done."  Strangers  are  perfectly 
secure  in  a  Bedouin  camp  ;  and  if,  during  the  night,  any  insult  is 
otfered,  the  whole  tribe  is  made  answerable  ;  and  obliged  to  make  full 
and  entire  reparation.  A  traveller,  in  fact,  has  less  to  fear  in  the 
midst  of  this  rude  people,  than  when  sometimes  traversing  the  most 
civilized  countries  of  Europe. 

It  is  not  the  practice  to  continue  more  than  one  night  under  the 
tent  of  an  Arab.  A  little  discretion  is  required  ;  and  one  cannot  well 
follow  the  example  of  the  Abbé  who  wrote  to  Voltaire,  saying,  that 
he  intended  to  pass  a  month  at  his  chateau,  without  running  the  risk 
of  a  similar  reproof:  "  you  are  very  unlike  Don  Quixote  :  he  took  inns 
for  castles;  but  you  take  castles  for  inns!"  On  parting,  it  is  usual 
for  the  stranger  to  present  his  host  with  a  little  gun-powder  ;  which  is 
highly  prized  by  the  Bedouins,  for  priming.  A  bit  of  antimony  is 
also  given  to  the  young  girls,  to  colour  their  eyebrows  and  eyelashes  ;  to 
the  matron  a  pair  of  scissars  ;  or  some  pins  and  needles  are  equally 
acceptable  ;  being  quite  a  treasure  to  these  people,  blest  as  they  are 
with  scarcely  a  single  want  ungratified  !  It  should,  ho%vever,  be 
obsei-ved,  that  no  donation  of  any  kind  is  looked  for;  they  merely  act 

B    B 


from  a.  spontaneous  generosity  and  religious  feeling,  strengthened  by 
immemorial  custom.  From  the  family  of  an  Arab,  vieing  with  each 
other  in  attending  to  the  stranger  who  takes  shelter  under  their  roof, 
it  is  not  to  be  wondered  at,  if  he,  on  leaving  them,  feels  a  sentiment  of 
regret  and  affection.  Received  with  the  cordiality  shewn  by  Jacob 
and  Laban  to  their  numerous  guests,  and  reflecting  on  the  extreme 
simplicity  of  an  Arab  entertainment,  an  European  visitor  is  apt  to 
fancy  himself  .seated  in  the  tent  of  a  patriarch. 

When  the  Arabs  have  found  a  spot  sufficiently  rich  to  feed  their 
flocks,  and  ensure  their  personal  security,  the  tents  are  pitched,  and 
an  encampment  formed  according  to  the  number  of  families,  from 
three,  to  as  many  hundred  tents  :  these  associations  or  flying  camps, 
are  called  Dowars. 

It  is  generally  the  custom  for  each  tribe  to  change  its  position 
once  a  year,  in  order  to  afford  the  ground  time  to  recover  from  the 
preceding  one's  cultivation.  If  that  has  been  productive,  they  return 
to  it  again  ;  but  in  every  remove  it  is  necessary  to  have  permission  from 
the  Dey  of  Algiers,  to  whom  all  those  bordering  on,  or  residing  in 
his  territory,  are  obliged  regularly  to  pay  a  yearly  tribute,  Mhich 
amounts  to  a  tenth  of  all  they  possess  :  this  requisition  is  known  by 
the  title  of  Garam. 

The  police  regulations  are  extremely  judicious,  and  well  adapted 
to  the  Arab's  mode  of  life.  Each  Dowar  is  responsible  for  all  the 
crimes  and  misdemeanors  committed  either  in  sight  of  the  camp,  or 
in  its  immediate  vicinity,  no  matter  who  the  aggressors  may  be.  By 
way,  however,  of  mitigating  the  rigour  of  this  law,  the  tribe's  respon- 
sibility ceases  with  day-light  :  the  impossibility  of  seeing  or  preventing 
what  happens  during  the  night,  being  very  properly  considered  as  a 
just  cause  of  exemption  from  any  charge  at  that  time.  The  night 
has  BO  eyes,  according  to  their  emphatic  mode  of  expression  :  in  con- 
sequence, therefore,  of  the  difficulty  which  would  naturally  attend  the 
discovery  of  any  violence  done  in  the  dark,  the  Bedouin  makes  a 
point  of  never  setting  off  on    a  journey  before  broad  day;  and  also 


of  stopping  at  sun-set.  Occasionally,  during-  the  hours  of  repose,  the 
men  collect  at  the  sheik's  tent,  where  they  pass  the  time  in  talking 
of  their  horses,  voyages,  and  various  feats  in  arms.  In  these  soirécSy 
the  chief,  seated  on  the  same  skin  with  the  meanest  of  his  tribe,  enters 
into  every  subject  of  conversation  with  the  utmost  familiarity.  Not- 
withstanding this  occasional  equality,  it  is  to  be  observed,  that  the 
whole  party  treat  him  with  a  marked  homage  and  respect. 

The  heads  of  families  mount  their  horses  every  evening,  and 
proceed  to  an  adjoining  meadow,  where,  forming  a  circle  round  the 
chiefs,  ^  grand  council  is  held,  at  which  all  the  affairs  of  the  Dowar 
are  freely  discussed.  The  pastoral  and  warlike  simplicity  of  this 
assemblage,  with  only  the  canopy  of  Heaven  for  a  covering,  and  sur- 
rounded by  the  solitudes  of  the  desert,  is  said  to  exhibit  a  spectacle 
full  of  grandeur  and  solemnity. 

Some  of  the  tribes  neither  change  their  place  of  abode  nor  live 
under  tents,  but  are  stationary,  inhabiting  small  villages  called 
Dascars.  These  are  composed  of  huts  built  of  turf,  or  bricks  taken 
from  old  ruins,  the  roofs  being  formed  of  straw  with  a  layer  of 
boughs.  The  same  apartment  generally  serves  for  bed-room,  stable, 
and  hall  of  audience.  There  is,  however,  a  corner  reserved  for  the 
animals;  but  they  often  intrude  themselves  on  the  family;  with  whom 
they  appear  to  live  on  terms  of  the  greatest  intimacy':  so  much  so, 
indeed,  that  during  the  night  the  calves  and  goats  frequently  amuse 
themselves  by  walking  over  the  bodies  of  the  sleeping  family,  or 
occasional  visitant. 

The  Dascars  are  by  no  means  so  comfortable  as  the  tents  of  the 
Dowars,  nor  do  their  inhabitants  enjoy  the  same  degree  of  abundance 
and  prosperity.  Heie  all  is  filth  and  wretchedness  :  and  in  addition 
to  the  comfortable  reflection  of  being  exposed  to  the  inclemency  of 
the  weather,  and  within  the  constant  hearing  of  beasts  of  prey,  one  is 
almost  devoured  by  every  kind  of  vermin,  which  seem  to  be  quite  at 
home  in  these  miserable  habitations;  where  innumerable  scorpions 
are  also  to  be  found. 

B  B  2 


The  villages  of  these  people  are  extremely  populous,  and  during 
the  recent  attack,  myriads  of  them  descended  from  the  mountains 
south  of  Algiers,  to  witness  the  engagement.  They  are  naturally 
much  less  humanized  and  generous  than  the  wandering  Bedouins: 
the  latter  are  continually  moving  about  in  search  of  pasturage,  and 
live  under  a  serene  sky  ;  while  the  former  are  obliged  to  cultivate  the 
most  arid  mountains  ;  and  often  residing  on  their  summits,  inhabit 
the  region  of  tempests. 

The  African  villages  are  still  precisely  the  same,  as  they  were 
described  to  be  in  the  days  of  antiquity,  when  they  Avere  called  Ma- 
palia  from  the  Punic  word  Mapul,  signilying  fixed  habitations  : 

Miratur  moles  ^Eneas  Mapalia  quondam. 

And,  as  in  the  present  day,  the  people  of  Numidia,  who  lived  in 
tents,  were  considered  as  a  distinct  race  from  those  who  resided  in 
huts  or  cabins  ;  in  opposition  to  the  latter,  the  wandering  tribes  were 
called  Magalia  ;  thus  according  to  Silius  Italicus  : 

Qualia  Maurus  amat  dispersa  Magalia  pastor. 
And  Lucan, 

Et  solitus  vacuis  errare  Magalibus  afer. 

Each  tribe  maybe  considered  as  a  nation  ;  like  those  of  the  American 
-savages,  and  a  species  of  principality  having  one  chief:  this  officer  is 
called  a  sheik  ;  meaning  an  elder  :  he  is  generally  chosen  from  amongst 
the  oldest  of  the  tribe  :  and  the  most  distinguished  for  maturity  of  judg- 
ment, and  the  practice  of  virtue,  is  he  whom  the  Arabs  of  the  desert 
think  most  worthy  of  commanding  them.  These  princes,  whose 
palaces  are  established  wherever  their  tent  is  elevated,  and  carpet 
spread,  administering  justice  at  the  foot  of  a  tree,  recall  those  agree- 
able feelings  which  are  associated  with  a  recollection  of  remote  and 
happier  days, 

When  tyrant  custom  had  not  shackled  man. 
But  free  to  follow  nature  was  the  mode. 

Although  the    Bedouins,  like  the  hordes  of  Tartary,  pursue  a 


wandering-  life,  and  maintain  an  apparent  state  of  liberty,  the  idea  o>' 
establishing  a  republican  form  of  government  never  enters  their 
thoughts.  Being  composed  of  a  horde  or  tribe,  a  species  of  army 
which  requires  one  directing  chief,  possessing  the  supreme  will  of  a 
monarch,  his  power  has  always  been  exerci.sed  with  the  greatest 
moderation,  while  despotism  was  never  admitted.  The  sheik,  seeing 
his  subjects  armed,  and  possessing  the  power  of  election,  feels  the 
necessity  of  consulting  their  inclinations.  One  of  these  princes  being 
asked  if  his  people  were  free,  answered,  "  why  should  they  not,  if  I 
as  their  chief,  am  so  !" 

This  kind  of  government  is  neither  elective  nor  hereditary.  There 
are  some  families  who  have  governed  for  centuries  ;  but  this  they  owe 
to  their  paternal  administration,  and  to  the  pleasure  which  we  all  feel 
in  obeying  those  who  endeavour  to  make  us  happy.  Though  the  son 
generally  succeeds  his  father,  there  is  no  specific  right  to  guarantee 
such  a  mode  of  arriving  at  power,  as  both  the  election  and  approlja- 
tion  of  the  people  are  necessary  before  the  reins  of  government  are 
assumed.  Tliey  find  it  an  admirable  maxim,  to  let  the  government 
descend  in  this  way  from  father  to  son,  on  condition  that  the  son  takes 
care  to  merit  the  esteem  of  the  people.  In  this  case  also,  the  most 
meritorious  member  of  the  family  is  sure  to  be  preferred. 

It  often  happens,  that  the  same  tribe  has  several  minor  chiefs, 
who  are  under  the  protection  of  a  more  powerful  one,  called  Sheik 
el  Meiscach  ;  and  it  as  frequently  occurs,  that  many  tribes  elect  a 
supreme  head,  who  receives  the  title  of  Sheik  el  Keeber,  or  great 
master  :  that  of  emir,  meaning  prince,  is  also  common.  Leagues  are 
sometimes  formed  between  different  emirs,  to  defend  themselves  against 
an  ambitious  prince  or  foreign  oppression. 

If  the  sheik  ill-treats  his  subjects,  or  is  unfaithful  to  the  princi- 
ples by  which  he  was  called  to  govern  them,  neither  plots  nor  revolu- 
tions are  formed  against  his  person  ;  but  he  is  quietly  abandoned  by 
the  whole  tribe;  which  proceeds  to  join  another,  whose  chief  receives 
the  new  acquisition  with  open  arms,  as  a  sure  means  of  adding  to  his 


power  and  popularity.  The  lamentations  of  the  o[)pressed  are  heard  ; 
but  the  voice  of  sedition  is  silent  :  many  unite  and  call  for  justice  ; 
but  they  seldom,  except  in  the  last  extremity,  resort  to  conspiracy  and 
tiimult.  A  Bedouin  can  never  be  persuaded  to  revolt  against  the 
prince,  to  whom  he  has  sworn  fealty  and  obedience.  When  the  sheik 
degrades  himself  to  the  level  of  a  tyrant,  they  merely  take  their  leave 
and  abandon  him  to  his  own  reflections.  Many  have  been  thus  seen, 
almost  alone  in  their  camp,  having  lost  their  whole  tribe,  in  forfeit- 
ing those  affections,  which  could  have  alone  ensured  their  loyalty.  I 
happened,  during  my  rambles  in  the  vicinity  of  Algiers,  to  meet  one 
of  these  unfortunate  princes  :  he  was  alone,  and  .sitting  mournfully 
under  a  tree,  with  his  eyes  rivetted  to  the  ground,  and  strong  shame 
and  dejection  depicted  in  every  feature.  Not  a  single  subject,  or  even 
friend,  remained  to  sympathize  with  his  forlorn  condition.  The  tribe 
which  had  just  withdrawn  itself  from  him,  were  posted  on  an  adjacent 
eminence  ;  and  reminded  me  of  the  Roman  people  assembled  on  the 
sacred  mount.* 

Whenever  it  becomes  necessaiy  to  have  recourse  to  arms,  the 
chief  of  each  tribe  assembles  all  who  are  capable  of  taking  the  field, 
who,  one  after  another,  offers  his  best  services  to  the  community  ; 
when  the  whole  body  join  in  one  common  war  song,  which  is  fol- 
lowed by  immediate  preparations  for  the  proposed  enterprize.  The 
utmost  similarity  is  said  to  exist  between  the  wandering  Arab  sheiks, 
and  many  of  the  North  American  chiefs,  bordering  on  the  Lakes  of 
Canada.  Each  warrior,  besides  furnishing  two  horses  and  the  neces- 
sary arms,  engages  to  provide  for  his  own  maintenance  ;  and  when 
the  Arabs  of  Barbary  are  called  upon  to  serve,  they  instantly  obey 

*  Alluding  to  that  curious  and  interesting  event  in  the  history  of  Rome,  where  the 
populace,  seeing  the  impossibility  of  obtaining  justice  from  their  patrician  rulers,  deter- 
mined to  abandon  the  city  ;  and  for  this  purpose  withdrew  to  a  rising  ground,  shewn  to 
this  day  about  two  miles  outside  of  the  Porto  del  Popolo.  The  same  thing  also  hap- 
pened, after  Virginia's  violation  by  the  Decemvir  Appius. —  Ed. 


the  invitation.  Without  any  pay  whatever,  they  are  contented  to 
rely  on  their  gallantry  and  exertions  for  future  reward.  All  are 
mounted  on  unshod  horses,  which  they  manage  with  wonderful  dex- 
terity. Their  chief  talents  consist  in  a  sudden  irruption,  or  impe- 
tuous charge  ;  and  in  a  warfare  of  ambush  or  surprize,  they  may  be 
called  the  Tyrolese  and  Cossacks  of  Africa. 

In  all  affairs  of  importance,  the  sheik  makes  a  point  of  con- 
voking the  head  of  each  tent  and  family,  to  whose  opinions  every 
possible  deference  is  paid.  When  the  interests  of  several  tiibes  are 
discussed,  a  species  of  congress  is  formed  :  not  unlike  the  great  Diet 
of  the  Tartars,  each  sheik  representing  his  respective  subjects,  con- 
sidering himself  rather  as  the  ally  than  tributary  of  the  Sheik  el 
Keeber  ;  who,  like  the  Khan  of  Tartary,  may  be  regarded  as  the  pre- 
sident of  a  great  warlike  assembly,  being  perfectly  satisfied  if  he  can 
acquire  the  confidence  and  esteem  of  his  allies.  His  opinion,  too, 
generally  prevails  ;  as  all  are  fully  aware  of  the  purity  of  his  inten- 
tions. So  true  it  is,  that  integrity  and  virtue  are  the  best  means  of 
inspiring  public  confidence  and  applause. 

Some  of  the  smaller  tribes,  without  tents  or  cottages,  and  mounted 
on  their  fiery  barbs  or  swift  dromedaries,  scour  the  desert  in  search  of 
booty  :  these  are  called  the  plundering  Arabs  : — assaulting  the 
caravans,  they  strip  the  traveller  and  immediately  disappear.  Like 
most  of  the  descendants  of  Ishmael,  they  make  robbery  a  profession. 
The  most  independent  of  mortals,  their  liberty*  consists  in  making 
all  mankind  tributary  to  their  wants  and  villanies  :  a  maxim  which 
has  not  been  always  confined  to  the  plundering  Arabs  of  the  desert. 
It  was  pretty  strongly  exemplified  in  the  uniform  policy  of  a  certain 

*  Not  many  years  ago,  when  the  system  of  liberty  and  equality  was  first  promulgated, 
a  gentleman  hearing  some  one  knock  at  the  door  of  his  anti-chamber,  came  out  before  his 
toilette  was  completed,  and  on  letting  the  stranger  in,  observed,  "  pray  excuse  me  for 
receiving  you  with  this  liberty"  i.  e.  in  his  chemise  ! 


nation  from  1794,  unti!  the  public  opinion  of  Europe  expelled  its 
leader  in  1814.* 

Of  the  plundering  tribes,  the  Sheikies  and  Ababdes,  frequent, 
the  track  to  Senaar  ;  while  of  Cubba  Beschis  and  Bedeials, 
hover  about  that  of  Daufnr:  others,  near  the  mountains  of  Tell  and 
Desert  of  Angad,  are  like  the  Kundi  and  Turcomans  of  Natòlia,  and 
Lesguis  of  the  Caucasus.  The  travellers  and  warriors  of  the  Crusades, 
alluded  to  a  nation  of  assassins,  and  the  celebrated  Old  Man  of  the 
Mountains,  towards  the  foot  of  Mount  Lebanon. 

Barbaiy  may  also  well  be  called  the  country  of  assassins  ;  but 
the  Arabs  of  the  desert  are  certainly  not  the  worst  part  of  its  inhabit- 
ants :  the  truly  perfidious,   are  those  who  live  by  piracy  on  the  high 

*  Mr.  Pananti  is  not  so  lamentably  blinded  by  party  zeal,  as  to  admire  Buonaparte  ; 
either  because  it  was  his  fate  to  be  put  down  by  the  allied  powers  whom  he  had  harassed 
in  every  imaginable  shape  for  above  fifteen  years,  or  in  consequence  of  that  confinement 
on  a  desolate  island,  which  has  been  purely  the  result  of  his  own  senseless  temerity  and 
unexampled  violence  as  a  sovereign. — No  !  divested  of  this  ruinous  bane  to  patriotism  and 
public  virtue,  the  author,  in  judging  the  ex-emperor  by  his  actions  alone,  could  not 
possibly  reconcile  one  sentiment  of  praise  with  a  life  which  seemed  exclusively  devoted 
to  the  gratification  of  vain  glory  and  personal  ambition.  With  all  those  philosophic 
heads,  and  philanthropic  hearts,  and  they  are  not  a  few,  with  whose  opinions  I  had 
an  opportunity  of  becoming  acquainted,  during  a  late  visit  to  the  continent,  Mr.  P. 
could  only  regard  Napoleon  Buonaparte  as  one,  who,  possessing  the  most  unlimited 
means  of  becoming  truly  great,  deliberately  suffered  the  golden  opportunity  to  escape, 
in  the  little-minded  and  extravagant  project  of  making  Europe  subservient  to  the  insa- 
tiable rapacity  of  a  military  depotism,  such  as  he  fatally  succeeded  in  establishing  over 
the  volatile  and  inconsiderate  people  of  France.  The  reiterated  plunders  and  massacres 
which  marked  the  sanguinary  progress  of  his  armies  in  Holland,  Germany,  Russia,  the 
Tyrol,  Italy,  and  Spain,  are  not  quite  so  easily  forgotten  on  the  continent,  as  they  have 
unfortunately  been  by  the  mistaken  opinion  of  some  people  in  this  country;  while  military 
roads,  bridges,  and  public  works,  are  there  considered  a  very  poor  compensation  for  the 
annihilation  of  religion,  morals,  and  civil  liberty  I — It  is  of  the  very  first  importance  to 
the  temperate  and  enlightened  friends  of  order  and  good  government,  to  know  that  the 
great  mass  of  intellectual  talent  which  now  irradiates  the  continental  nations,  has  arisen 
and  been  matured  by  the  tremendous  lessons  furnished  during  the  last  twenty-five  years. 
These  have  taught  people  the  dreadful  fallacy  of  indulging  in  Utopian  schemes  of  humau 


seas,  and  along  the  coasts  of  Tripoli,  Tunis,  and  Algiers  ;  with  whom 
it  is  vain  to  expect  either  law  or  justice.  On  the  contrary,  those 
Arabs  who  make  a  trade  of  plundering,  possess  some  qualities  which 
tend  very  materially  to  soften  the  iniquity  of  their  callings.  Many  of 
them,  in  assailing  the  peaceful  traveller,  will  not  acknowledge  it  as 
robbery  :  they  believe  themselves  to  be  the  natural  proprietors  of  the 
desert  ;  and  in  taking  away  the  property  of  others,  consider  it  merely 
as  a  poll  tax,  such  as  ships  are  in  the  habit  of  paying  in  passing  the 
Sound  and  Dardanelles.  They  also  believe  themselves  lineal  descend- 
ants of  Ishmael,  who,  according  to  their  account,  was  unjustly  dis- 
inherited of  his  patrimony  :  so  that  in  living  upon  the  public,  they 
are  only  occupied  in  revenging  past  injuries.     Condemned  to  the 

happiness,  unsuited  to  the  spirit  of  the  age  and  progress  of  civilization.  At  the  same  time, 
that  the  errors  which  lead  to  popular  excesses  and  ultimate  revolution,  have  been  fully 
brought  before  their  eyes.  This  has  led  to  an  universal  expression  of  public  sentiment  in 
favour  of  the  representative  system,  founded  upon  the  long  experience  of  its  efficacy  in 
this  country,  in  reconciling  the  stability  of  government  with  the  rational  freedom  of  the 
people.  The  wisest  and  most  intelligent  men  in  Europe,  are  unequivocally  agreed  on  this 
momentous  subject  ;  and  upon  its  adoption,  they  do  not  hesitate  to  say,  must  inevitably 
depend  the  future  repose  of  the  world.  Fearfully  alive  to  all  those  horrors  which  follow 
in  the  train  of  re-action  and  revolution,  they  look  up  to  their  respective  sovereigns, 
and  implore  this  boon  with  trembling  anxiety,  knowing  it  to  be  vitally  identified  with  the 
security  of  the  one  and  happiness  of  the  other.  And  how  flattering  to  the  British  nation, 
is  this  expression  of  public  feeling  on  the  continent?  Witnessing  the  extraordinary 
manner  in  which  we  have  met  and  finally  overcome  difficulties  that  involved  the  ruin  of 
surrounding  states,  they  merely  wish  for  the  adoption  of  that  simple  form  of  government 
which  has  enabled  us  to  perform  so  many  apparent  miracles.  A  prey  to  the  most  horrible 
calamities  which  war  and  rapine  could  inflict  for  so  many  years,  the  people  of  Germany 
and  Italy  wish  to  establish  a  system  of  government,  which  shall  for  ever  preclude  the  pos- 
sibility of  their  return  ;  and  they  are  decidedly  of  opinion,  that  this  most  desirable  end  is 
only  to  be  obtained  by  a  free  and  impartial  representation  of  the  people,  constituted  so  as 
to  become  the  real  organ  of  public  opinion.  In  soliciting  the  above  act  of  grace  and  libe- 
rality from  their  respective  sovereigns,  I  am  more  than  satisfied,  the  continental  nations 
are  actuated  by  no  other  desire,  than  that  of  promoting  the  only  true  basis  upon  which,  in 
an  enlightened  age,  legitimate  governments  can  be  securely  and  permanently  established. 

C    C 


dreary  possession  of  the  desert,  the  plundering  tribe  consider  it  as  no 
more  than  a  just  retaliation  to  spoliate  those  who  have  usurped  the 
cultivated  lands. 

They,  however,  rob  without  murdering  ;  and  if  acts  of  violence 
take  place,  and  lives  are  lost,  it  always  arises  from  resistance  on  the 
part  of  the  caravans,  who  refuse  to  pay  the  required  tribute.  Should 
they  succeed  in  escaping  its  payment,  the  next  that  passes,  if  less 
powerful,  is  obliged  to  pay  for  them  :  it  being  a  settled  maxim  with 
these  free-booters,  that  no  circumstances  are  to  interfere  with  the  total 
amount  of  their  annual  revenues.  With  all  the  marauding  qualities 
of  these  people,  they  possess  a  species  of  moral  principle,  which 
renders  them  extremely  tractable  on  some  occasions  : — although  ever 
on  the  alert  to  plunder  the  rich  merchant,  they  are  equally  ready  to 
assist  the  distressed  pilgrim.* 

When  an  Arab  receives  any  one  for  the  night,  he  is  placed  on 
the  skin  which  serves  the  host  as  a  bed  :  here  the  stranger  is  in  per- 
fect security  ;  and  as  obsei-ved  in  another  place,  the  simple  ceremony 
of  eating  bread  and  salt  with  any  of  the  tribes,  guarantees  you 
•against  the  whole.  A  traveller  who  receives  a  boy,  or  young  virgin 
for  his  guide,  may  pass  in  the  greatest  safety,  and  has  nothing  to  fear  ; 

*  There  was  once  a  famous  chief  of  banditti  in  the  Calabrias,  called  Augiolino  del 
Duca,  who  combined  his  predatory  system  with  numerous  acts  of  charity.  One  day 
observing  a  poor  countryman,  who  seemed  to  be  in  great  tribulation,  he  enquired  what 
was  the  cause  of  his  uneasiness  ;  when  the  peasant  informed  him,  that  his  landlord  was 
coming  the  next  day,  with  the  officers  of  justice,  to  drive  him  from  his  farm,  in  conse- 
quence of  being  in  arrears  for  rent.  How  much  do  you  owe  him?  asked  Angiolino  ; 
six  hundred  ducats,  was  the  reply.  I  will  lend  you  that  sura,  rejoined  the  robber  ;  and 
immediately  put  it  into  his  hands  ;  after  which  he  departed.  The  inexorable  baron  soon 
arrived,  and  was  about  to  put  his  threat  into  execution,  when,  to  his  no  small  surprize, 
the  tenant  produced  his  rent;  upon  which  his  landlord  went  off  perfectly  reconciled,  and 
highly  pleased  with  the  result  of  his  journey.  Having  approached  near  a  wood  that  lay 
on  the  road,  the  wily  chief  rushed  forth  accompanied  by  his  followers,  and  was  not  long 
recovering  something  more  than  his  six  hundred  ducats  :  thus  settling  the  accounts  of  all 
the  parties! 


purity  and  innocence  being  held  sacred  even  in  these  desolate  regions. 
You  may  also  enter  the  tents  of  those  very  men,  by  whom  you  have 
been  recently  robbed.  They  even  affect  to  feel  an  interest  blended 
with  pity  for  your  misfortunes,  often  in  the  course  of  your  narrative, 
repeating-,  God  is  merciful!  Another  dress  is  thrown  over  the  unfor- 
tunate traveller,  while  his  own  is  seen  hanging  up  on  the  next  hook  ! 
and  he  takes  his  leave,  covered  with  the  benedictions  of  those  very 
robbers  who  may  be  destined  to  plunder  him  the  following  day  ! — Such 
is  the  systematic  order  of  robbery  in  the  desert.  When  a  traveller  is 
surprized,  with  treasures  in  his  possession,  the  son  of  Agar's  son 
must  have  his  proportion  ; — it  not  being  consonant  to  justice,  ac- 
cording to  their  ideas,  that  one  man  should  be  rich  and  another 

Thieves  have,  in  every  age,  been  distinguished  for  the  utmost 
equity  as  far  as  words  go.  They  do  not  tell  you  to  proceed  and  rob, 
but  to  go  and  gain.  Many  who  have  for  years  successfully  followed 
up  the  trade  of  picking  pockets,  are  now-a-days  suffered  to  be 
quietly  at  large,  to  glory  in  the  plundered  wealth  of  the  community  ; 
while  a  still  greater  number,  who  have  been  enriched  by  the  rapacity 
of  war,  return  with  the  blood  of  their  slaughtered  enemies,  yet 
reeking,  and  proudly  boast  of  having  performed  their  duty  !  By  far  the 
greatest  robbers  do  not,  in  fact,  say,  let  us  go  to  invade  and  conquer, 
but  for  the  laudable  purpose  of  avenging  our  injured  rights  ! 

c  c  2 



Description  of  the  Moors. —  Their  Figure  and  Character. — Male  and  Female 
Costume. — Head  Dress  and  Toilet. — Habitations. — Particular  Manners 
and  Customs. — Marriages  amongst  the  Moors.— Funerals. — Condition  of 
Widows,  ófc. 

The  Moors,  who  compose  a  very  Jarge  proportion  of  the  population 
of  Barbary,  are  far  I'rom  being  the  most  amiable  :  there  is  something 
harsh  and  ominous  in  their  physiognomy,  extremely  repulsive  to  an 

The  excesses  in  which  they  are  so  apt  to  indulge,  enervates 
their  body,  and  destroys  their  courage.  That  blood  which  '  is 
impoverished  by  dissoluteness,  seldom  gives  much  animation  to  the 
possessor  :  their  limbs  are  rather  slender  and  well-shaped,  but  they 
have  generally  more  agility  than  vigour  ;  and  are  better  adapted  for 
pedestrian  exercise  than  the  labours  of  agriculture.  They  have  tine 
eyes,  and  good  teeth;  together  with  tolerably  regular  features;  but 
their  countenance  is  never  enlivened  by  a  noble  thought,  or  generous 
sentiment  :  it  rather  expresses  the  tire  of  ardent  and  gloomy  passion. 
In  them  the  eye  seldom  beams  forth  that  softness  and  placidity  which 
distinguish  a  fine  soul.  A  quivering  lip,  the  emblem  of  disdain  and 
falsehood,  is  more  often  seen.  Theirs  is  the  smile  of  death  ;  and  it  is 
perhaps  the  risible  faculty,  which  is,  above  all  others,  most  calculated 
to  betray  the  internal  operations  of  the  human  mind. 

They  are  amazingly  patient  under  pain  and  suffering.  The  man- 
ner in  which  a  Moor  bears  punishment,  I  will  not  compare  to  stoical 
firmness,  but  it  is  the  cold  ferocity  of  a  savage.     While  nailed  to  a 

AVARICE    OF   THE    MOORS.  107 

pillar  by  the  ears  and  feet,  one  of  these  people  has  been  known  tran- 
quilly to  call  lor  a  pipe  !  Another,  whose  hand  is  chopped  off,  will 
take  it  up  and  run  away.  They  are  endowed  with  excellent  memories; 
but  it  only  serves  to  make  them  remember  old  offences,  and  perpetuate 
animosities.  Their  spirit  and  penetration  is  also  employed  for  the 
purposes  of  pertidy  and  treason.  The  Moor's  predominant  passion 
consists  in  the  gratification  of  sensual  appetite,  avarice,  and  ambi- 
tion :  witliout  public  spectacles,  society,  or  a  love  of  study,  he 
furiously  throws  himself  into  a  seaof  voluptuousness  and  debauchery. 
His  avarice  too,  is  incredible  :  amongst  a  variety  of  proverbs,  strongly 
characteristic  of  these  people,  there  is  one  which  says,  "  vinegar  that 
is  given,  is  preferable  to  honey  which  is  bought;"  and,  "  a  Moor  will 
allow  an  eye  to  be  taken  from  him.  to  get  at  a  crown  piece  !"  The 
less,  however,  they  can  shew  their  riches,  the  less  they  enjoy  them  : 
so  that  they  are  mostly  intent  on  accumulating.  There  is  scarcely  à 
single  father  of  a  family  who  dies  without  leaving  a  treasure  to  his  son. 
This  is  certainly  some  little  excuse  in  their  favour.  In  the  course  of  those 
continuetl  acts  of  violence,  to  which  they  are  subjected  by  the  govern- 
ment, confiscation  and  death  is  ever  present  to  their  eyes  :  it  is  therefore 
always  convenient  to  have  wherewithal,  not  ordy  to  secure  their  per- 
sonal retreat,  but  to  leave  behind  the  means  of  supporting  their  family: 
this  gives  rise  to  the  universal  practice  of  burying  large  sums  of  specie 
under  ground  ;  and  is  also  a  good  reason  why  those  who  have  most 
hard  cash,  are  considered  the  richest.  As  might  naturally  be  expected, 
this  insatiable  thirst  of  gold,  renders  the  Moor  cunning,  hypocritical, 
and  false  to  his  promises.  They  abhor  strangers,  the  descendants  of 
those  who  were  driven  from  Spain,  they  have  retained  the  same  fero- 
cious hatred  towards  other  sects.  They  are  also  persecutors  amongst 
themselves  :  families  are  divided  and  societies  disturbed  :  mixing  but 
little  with  each  other,  they  are  full  of  diffidence  and  egotism.  Living 
under  the  worst  of  tyrannies,  they  are  vile  and  trembling  :  nor  do 
they  hesitate  descending  to  every  species  of  humiliation,  whenever 
any  thing  is  to  be  got  by  it.     With  equals,  they  use  a  vulgar  familia- 


rity,  andare  neither  brave  nor  generous.  The  natural  ferocity  of  their 
character  is  not  tempered  by  any  of  that  noble  intrepidity  which 
distinguishes  some  savage  nations.  The  Moor  acts  from  a  sudden 
impulse  or  violent  transport  ;  which  they  call  fantasy  ;  in  other  words, 
caprice  or  phrenzy  :  during  the  operation  of  which,  they  are  capable  of 
the  greatest  excesses — revenge  seeins  to  ferment  in  their  hearts,  while 
their  natural  element  is  hatred. 

From  a  state  of  high  civilization,  the  3Ioors  have  fallen  into  a 
barbarism,  worse  than  they  were  proljably  ever  in  before.  They  are 
like  old  wine,  of  which  nothing  is  left  but  the  dregs  ;  and  have  all 
the  vices,  without  any  of  the  Arab's  virtues  :  in  fact,  their  character 
combines  the  blind  superstition  of  the  blacks,  with  the  impetuous 
passions  of  the  Saracens. 

Nothing  can  be  more  singular  than  this  baleful  activity  of  the 
Moors,  in  the  midst  of  their  sedentary,  etfeminate,  and  unoccupied 
life  ;  in  which  indolence  and  inditference  appear,  at  first  sight,  to  be 
the  prevailing  impetus:  particularly,  as  it  relates  to  the  inju.stice 
and  severity  of  their  government  ;  but  the  former  may  be  compared 
to  a  hidden  volcano,  which  only  requires  the  operation  of  nature 
to  bring  it  into  action.  If  the  Moor  can  be  said  to  possess  one 
.solitary  virtue,  it  will  be  found  rather  in  the  justice  of  his  notions, 
than  the  rectitude  of  his  heart.  They  are  said  to  perfonn  some  good 
actions,  such  as  giving  much  away  in  charity  ;  but  to  sensibility, 
they  are  total  strangers  :  they  will  assist  an  idle  mendicant,  but  they 
are  incapable  of  soothing  an  oppressed  spirit,  or  mingling  their  tears 
with  those  of  an  unfortunate  fellow  creature.  Hardened  by  the  dogma 
of  fatalism,  to  be  afflicted  at  the  miseries  of  another,  or  shed  a  tear  for 
his  sorrows,  is  by  the  inexorable  Moor,  regarded  as  weak,  and  even 
criminal.  While,  however,  they  are  so  eminently  false  and  deceitful, 
they  contrive  to  assume  an  air  of  openness,  always  speaking  with 
affected  sincerity  and  candour.  Whenever  any  argument  arises,  wherein 
their  moral  rectitude  is  called  in  question,  they  address  the  Christian 
in  i\\e\r  Lingua  Franca,  3Ii  andar  dritto,  ti  andar  torto  ;  mi  nonpar- 


lare  che  quel  che  sentire  ;  mi  avere  in  bocca  quello  che  aver  nello  cuore  ! 
Men  are  said  to  be  sometimes  known  by  trifles  :  there  have  been  per- 
sons too,  who  fancied  they  could  tell  a  man's  character  from  the  style 
of  his  hand-writing,  the  way  in  which  he  walked,  or  some  particulai- 
gestures  and  movements  : — others,  carrying  the  refinement  still  farther, 
supposed  that  important  inferences  may  be  drawn  from  the  letter  of 
the  alphabet  a  person  pronounces  in  laughing.  But  the  most  inge- 
nious remark  I  have  heard  of  in  this  way,  was  that  of  M.  Neckar,  on 
the  phrases  which  he  calls  parasites,  peculiar  to  most  people  ;  and 
constantly  repeated  by  them  in  conversation.  He  has  very  shrewdly 
observed,  that  the  speaker  has  generally  a  totally  different  meaning 
in  view,  from  that  endeavoured  to  be  communicated  by  his  favourite 
expression  ;  because  he  who  is  aware  of  his  defect  or  weak  siae,  makes 
use  of  it  more  frequently  than  any  other  ;  not  only  for  the  purpose  of 
deceiving  others,  but  also  himself — as  people  endeavour  to  conceal 
bodily  deformity. 

The  experience  furnished  by  a  knowledge  of  most  men  of 
depraved  characters,  proves  the  entire  justice  of  this  remark. — 
The  I'alse  and  designing  will  always  tell  you, — "  I  speak  with  my 
usual  candour  on  such  occasions." — The  eternal  talker,  continually 
repeats — "  one  nord  more  and  I  hare  done!"  The  miser  who  would 
suffer  himself  to  be  skinned  for  a  farthing,  says, — "  My  dear  friend, 
you  know  this  is  not  my  money  !"  The  man  who  is  made  up  of 
ceremony  and  etiquette,  will  say, — "Sans  compUmens ;  I  hate  cere- 
mony !"  He  who  aimoys  you  with  his  ceaseless  nonsense,  says, — 
''lam  sorry  to  be  troublesome:'  The  croaker  informs  us,  "that 
things  cannot  possibly  be  worse  than  they  are  !"  He  who  sutFers  the 
whole  world  to  tiifle  with  and  insult  him,  vociferates — "  I  am  a  man 
of  character,  and  no  one  shall  insult  me  with  impunity  "  The  cre- 
dulous dupe,—"  No  !  JVo  !  I  am  not  to  be  taken  in  quite  so  easily  as 

you  imagine!"     A  man  whose  heart  is  like  ice,  is  sure  to  say, 

•'  I  know  I  have  too  much  feeling  ;"  and  the  pander  calls  every  one 
his    "  veì-ì/   dear  friend!"    While   the    Moors  betray  and   deceive. 


they  squeeze  your  hand  ;  wishing  to  appear  all  honey,  and  that  their 
hearts  are  formed  in  the  tenderest  mould.  But,  beware  of  that  mask 
which  discloses  too  much  of  the  visage  ! 

Some  have  observed,  that  in  proportion  to  the  neatness  and 
cleanly  appearance  of  any  nation,  we  may  judge  of  the  degree  of 
civilization  to  which  they  have  arrived.  If  the  Moors  conformed  to 
the  precepts  of  Mahomet,  they  would,  as  far  as  this  criterion  goes, 
be  the  most  cultivated  people  on  earth  ;  but  they  are  very  far  from 
doing  so,  with  regard  to  their  personal  cleanliness  and  general  mode 
of  dress.  Although  their  heads  are  shaved,  a  high  value  is  set  on 
the  beard,  which  they  are  always  smoothing  down  and  dividing  with 
the  greatest  care  and  gravity.  A  small  lock  of  hair  is  also  left  on  the 
top  of  the  head.  The  dress  of  the  great  consists  in  the  caftan  ;  a 
long  robe  reaching  down  below  the  knee  ;  over  this  there  is  a  jacket 
richly  embroidered  with  gold  and  silver,  long  trowsers,  and  a  black 
or  white  bernousse  ;  together  with  yellow  and  red  boots  or  slippers. 
The  band  for  their  loins  is  generally  very  long,  and  they  seldom 
wear  stockings.  The  head  is  bound  round  with  several  fine  veils. 
Those  who  are  desirous  of  being  thought  very  wise  and  dignified, 
take  particular  pains  to  exhibit  a  flaming  head-dress  ;  for  the  higher 
a  man's  rank  is,  the  more  clothes  he  puts  on.  They  are  respected  in 
proportion  to  the  number  of  dresses  they  can  conveniently  carry; 
and  these  are  sometimes  so  numerous,  as  to  preclude  the  possibility 
of  their  having  a  free  use  of  their  limbs.  This  part  of  the 
Moorish  manners  has  no  small  share  in  contributing  to  their  apathy 
and  indolence  ;  while  the  only  advantage  they  derive  from  it,  is  an 
appearance  of  stupid  gravity  without  effect  or  meaning  :  yet  they  are 
perfectly  satisfied  if  it  inspires  a  little  more  respect  in  the  multitude. 
Those  who  have  made  the  pilgrimage  to  Mecca,  called  El  Hatech, 
are  exclusively  allowed  to  wear  a  turban  ;  the  rest  cover  their  heads 
with  red  caps  and  twisted  veils,  as  above  noticed. 

There  is  great  simplicity  of  dress  observed  at  Fez  and  Morocco, 
while    the    utmost    luxury    prevails    amongst    the    Algerines  and 


Tunisians,  whose  women  are  covered  with  ja^old  and  jewels.  In 
despotic  countries  like  these,  where  revolutions  and  the  consequent  fall 
of  great  men  are  so  frequent,  and  where  the  tyrant  can  at  any  moment 
possess  himself  of  every  thing-,  it  is  a  favourite  policy  to  enrich  the 
women,  because  their  property  by  the  Mahometan  laws  cannot  be  touched. 

The  Moorish  females  in  this  country  wear  cloth  in  winter,  and 
silk  in  summer:  their  robes,  caWedjubas,  are  made  like  tunics,  being 
entirely  covered  with  the  richest  embroidery,  and  thickly  garnished 
with  precious  stones.  Various  colours  are  selected  for  the  j  ubas,  so 
that  one  side  is  sometimes  yellow,  and  the  other  blue  :  a  fashion  which 
pleases  the  Barbary  belles  exceedingly.  They  also  wear  beautifully 
worked  slippers;  and  on  the  head,  a  cap  called  coìi/ìl,  which  is 
fancifully  tied  on  with  a  handkerchief  Rich  bracelets  are  worn  on 
the  wrists,  and  large  gold  rings  ornament  the  ancles  : — the  ear-rings 
are  also  of  the  most  splendid  description.  These  being  in  the  form  of 
a  crescent,  are  often  five  inches  at  least  in  circumference,  and  nearly 
as  large  as  the  little  finger. 

In  order  to  accustom  the  ladies  to  such  lieavy  ear-rings,  after  the 
ear  has  been  perforated,  a  small  roll  of  paper  is  introduced  every  day 
until  a  date  stone  can  pass  ;  it  is  then  large  enough  to  receive  the 
ring.  Over  the  caftan,  a  crimson  velvet  band,  having  a  gold  or  silver 
border,  is  worn  ;  and  when  travelling,  they  are  shaded  from  the  sun 
by  large  straw  hats.  One  day  in  each  week,  the  women  visit  the 
public  bath,  when  it  is  customary  to  dress  themselves  out  in  the 
greatest  splendor. — On  these  occasions  they  put  on  a  large  vest, 
richly  embroidered  with  gold  ;  and  over  the  breast,  a  caftan  of  fine 
cloth  or  velvet,  which  is  tied  behind  ;  and  the  ends  of  it  hanging 
down  to  the  middle,  with  a  profusion  of  curling  tresses,  presents  a  verv 
fine  eiFect.  Some  wear  a  ribbon  embroidered  with  gold,  and  studded 
with  pearls: — this  goes  round  the  forehead,  like  a  diadem.  The 
Moors  feel  flattered  in  displaying  to  their  neighbouring  friends,  the 
opulence  and  luxury  manifested  in  the  magnificent  costume  of  their 
wives  and  concubines,  while  taking  the  air  on  the  terraces. 

D  D 


The  ceremony  of  dressing,  occupies  a  Moorish  lady  nearly  all 
day.  When  one  of  rank  goes  to  the  toilet,  she  is  attended  by  several 
female  slaves,  all  of  whom  are  occupied  in  their  respective  depart- 
ments :  one  tinges  the  eye-brows,  another  combs  the  hair  ;  while  a 
third  prepares  the  veils,  a  fourth  scatters  otto  of  roses  over  her  clothes 
and  person.  Above  all,  the  arrangement  of  the  hair  is  the  principal 
concern  :  it  is  divided  into  two  separate  tresses,  these  are  protuseiy 
scented  and  then  powdered  with  ground  cloves.  The  hair  of  a  Moorish 
Venus,  together  with  its  gold  chains  and  other  ornaments,  sometimes 
give  such  a  size  to  the  whole  coiffure,  that  it  is  with  extreme  difficulty 
.she  is  able  to  move. 

When  the  females  pay  visits,  they  are  wrapped  up  in  a  haik, 
which  covers  the  whole  body,  and  is  so  arranged  about  the  head,  as  to 
be  removeable  at  pleasure  ;  and  enable  them  to  see  without  being 
seen.  While  on  the  terrace,  the  Christian  is  enabled  occasionally  to 
see  the  forbidden  fruit  :  but  in  the  streets,  the  Moorish  woman  is 
merely  a  moving  mass,  without  either  .shape  or  feature. 

What  a  striking  contrast  is  here  exhibited  to  European  modes, 
which  almost  approach  to  a  state  of  nudity,  and  invite  colds 
and  consumptions,  which  often  lead  the  credulous  votaries  of 
fashion  to  an  untimely  grave.  The  first  care  of  a  provincial 
lady  who  arrives  in  London,  is  to  call  in  a  dashing  dress-maker  : 
the  latter's  appearance  is  sure  to  bring  forth  an  appropriate  disser- 
tation on  the  awkward  costume  of  the  country.  Address- 
ing herself  more  immediately  to  the  new  customer,  she  exclaims: 
"  For  Heaven's  sake,  ma'am,  take  off  those  sprawling  long  gloves  : 
nature  intended  these  soft  and  delicate  arms  of  yours  to  be  seen,  and 
not  concealed  in  this  clumsy  manner.  Away  with  that  veil,  which 
besides  hiding  a  beautiful  pair  of  black  eyes,  will  make  people  think 
you  are  ashamed  of  your  rosy  cheeks.  Laud,  what  a  number  of 
petticoats!  Why  you  look  more  like  a  woolpack,  than  one  of  our 
light  and  frisky  town  lasses.  Fashions  like  those  were  never  known 
since  the  days  of  Queen  Bess  :  one  garment,  and  that  of  the  slightest 


gauze  reaching- a  little  below  the  knees,  is  quite  enough  now-a-days!" 
Having  brought  the  novice  into  her  liberal  ideas  on  the  subject  of 
dress,  and  reduced  her  superfluous  drapery  to  the  prevailing  standard, 
the  interview  closes  with  a  flattering  panegyric  on  the  graceful  figure, 
and  fascinating  air  of  her  new  pupil.  "  Now,  indeed,  you  are  some- 
thing like  the  mark!  Now  one  can  see  a  little  of  your  shape;  and 
take  my  word  for  it,  you  are  not  five  minutes  on  the  Mall,  before  a 
host  of  admirers  will  follow  with  eagerness  to  watch  your  majestic 
gait,  and  revel  in  the  piercing  glances  of  your  eye." 

The  Moorish  habitations,  though  generally  neat,  and  sometimes 
even  magnificent  in  their  interior  arrangement,  have  externally  a 
very  forbidding  aspect;  owing  no  less  to  their  total  want  of  ornament, 
than  to  the  circumstance  of  there  being  no  windows  towards  the  street. 
All  have  a  square  court  in  the  centre,  surrounded  by  columns,  and  a 
door  on  each  side  leads  to  four  spacious  apartments.  The  roofs  are 
flat,  serving  the  useful  purposes  of  receiving  the  rain  water,  which 
descends  from  thence  into  cisterns,  drying  linen,  and  taking  the  air. 
The  harem  is  always  in  the  rearof  the  building,  and  instead  of  windows 
in  fVont,  there  is  merely  a  grated  balcony,  to  which  the  family  can 
only  have  access  during  a  zeenak  or  solemn  festival.  The  houses  are 
rather  low,  never  exceeding  two  stories.  There  is  usually  a  fountain 
playing  in  the  court-yard;  and  the  floors  are  mostly  composed  of 
marble  slabs,  imported  for  that  puqiose  fiom  Italy.  Both  these  addi- 
tions to  the  houses  in  Barbary,  are  great  sources  of  convenience,  in 
so  warm  a  climate.  Near  the  females'  apartments,  sacred  to  all  but 
the  husband,  are  the  snlemok,  or  rooms  appropriated  to  the  males; 
the  master,  his  sons,  and  domestics,  having  all  separate  chambers. 
The  victuals  are  prepared  in  small  earthen  stoves,  which  are  placed 
in  the  court:  these,  neatly  whitewashed,  and  terminating  in  little 
cupolas,  give  a  very  graceful  efl'ect  to  each  angle  of  the  dwelling. 
The  extreme  similarity  between  the  houses  of  Barbary,  and  those  of 
Herculaneum  and  Pompeii,  has  often  excited  the  astonishment  of 

Independent  of  the  cooling  promenade  aflx)rded  by  the  terrace,  it 
D  d2 


frequently  becomes  the  scene  of  mirth  and  festivity  ;  ladders  are  also 
kept,  by  means  of  which,  neighbours  are  enabled  to  visit  each  other 
without  the  necessity  of  descending  into  the  street.  The  law  of 
Algiers  obliges  each  housekeeper  to  white-wash  his  dwelling  once  a 
year  :  as  this  regulation  extends  to  the  interior  as  well  as  the  outside 
walls,  it  not  only  contributes  ver}^  materially  to  general  health,  but 
gives  a  constant  appearance  of  cleanliness  to  the  buildings.  It 
is  truly  singular,  that  with  such  indifterence  to  personal  comfort, 
the  Moors  should  be  so  very  scrupulous  about  that  of  their  houses, 
into  the  apartments  of  which  they  do  not  even  enter  without  taking 
off  their  slippers! 

With  all  their  attention  to  internal  convenience,  there  is  never 
an  unnecessary  display  of  luxury  in  the  furniture  of  a  Moorish 
habitation  :  a  French  clock,  two  or  three  looking-glasses,  a  few 
rich  carpets,  some  beds  or  sofas  in  each  comer  of  the  room,  cushions 
along  the  sides,  and  light  curtains  to  the  windows,  which  look  into 
the  court-yard;  are  all  that  is  required  to  furnish  a  house  in  Al- 
giers. The  walls  have  neat  cornices,  upon  which  various  Arabic 
characters  are  sculptured;  they  have  also  a  method  of  varnishing 
the  tiles  as  in  Holland;  which  I  am  inclined  to  believe  is  origi- 
nally of  Arabic  invention.  The  beds  consist  of  hard  mattrasses,  and 
feather  pillows  :  these  are  merely  laid  on  a  mat,  and  rolled  up  every 
morning.  Some,  however,  make  a  practice  of  using  their  bed  as  a 
sofa  during  the  day  :  as  in  the  Arab's  tents,  the  Moor's  wardrobe  is 
hung  up  on  hooks  round  the  apartment  in  which  he  sleeps.  Stran- 
gers are  received  in  a  small  closet  at  the  entrance  of  the  house,  where 
the  master  usually  transacts  all  his  business.  In  very  hot  weather, 
he  is  seated  outside  the  door  on  a  mat,  where  who  come  to 
see  him,  either  for  ceremony  or  otherwise,  are  also  invited  to  sit 
down.  But  the  natural  jealousy  of  a  Moor  will  scarcely  ever 
induce  him  to  admit  any  one,  except  the  members  of  his  own 
family  to  enter  those  apartments  which  are  nearest  the  harem.* 

*  During  my  visits  to  Tunis  I  was  more  fortunate,  and  had  the  distinguished  honor 
«f  being  very  frequently  invited  to  Moorish  houses,  particularly  that  of  Mahomed  Coggia, 


In  the  cultivation  of  their  land,  the  Moors  have  a  plough  like  that 
used  in  the  .south  ofSpain,  in  which  there  is  no  iron;  they  have  also  the 
same  kind  of  cars  with  wheels  cut  outof  one  solid  block  of  wood.  The 
country  people  bring  fruit,  vegetables,  straw,  and  other  materials  to 
market  in  a  kind  of  net,  which  is  thrown  over  their  camel  or  horse's 
back.  It  is  remarkable  how  much  Spanish  customs  resemble  those  of 
Barbary,  while  the  latter  are  in  numerous  instances  very  similar  to 
others  in  Spain.* 

where  I  have  often  dined  téie  à  téle  with  his  excellency.  On  occasions  he  sat  on  the 
floor,  while  I  was  indulged  with  a  velvet  cushion.  The  table,  which  was  only  large 
enough  to  contain  one  dish  at  a  time,  was  elevated  about  eighteen  inches  from  the  ground. 
After  the  ceremony  of  washing  the  hands,  cuscousu  was  brought  in,  and  on  being 
removed,  was  followed  in  rapid  succession  by  seven  or  eight  more  very  savoury  dishes. 
Although  a  knife  and  fork  were  usually  laid  for  me,  I  determined  not  to  forget  the  old 
maxim,  and  invariably  substituted  my  fingers!  By  the  way  of  recompensing  this  proof  of 
condescension,  a  bottle  of  excellent  claret  was  regularly  placed  at  my  side.  When  asked 
to  visit  his  country  house,  1  generally  met  three  or  four  of  his  friends;  where  the  repast, 
with  the  exception  of  fried  mullet  just  taken  at  the  Goletta,  did  not  differ  much  from  the 
above;  and  wine  was  equally  abundant.  In  the  town  house,  I  recollect  we  had  to  pass  by 
the  door  of  the  harem,  in  which  there  was  a  small  grated  aperture;  but  a  loud  warning 
on  entering  the  house  gave  the  ladies  time  to  retire.  Had  I  not  been  so  impressed  and 
absorbed  by  the  political  importance  of  what  was  passing  in  Barbary,  when  stationed  at 
Tripoly  and  Tunis  ;  and  even  seriously  thought  of  publishing  an  account  of  those  regen- 
-cies,  it  was  difficult  for  any  one  to  have  had  a  better  opportunity  of  detailing  their 
manners  and  customs  than  myself:  and  I  have  since  regretted  not  entering  more  minutely 
into  the  subject.  My  opinion  of  Mahomed  Coggia  will  be  found  in  the  second  volume 
of  my  Letters  from  the  Mediterranean,  p.  220.  It  has  heen  since  gratifying  to  find,  that  I 
did  not  over-rate  his  talents  and  virtues,  which  are  certainly  great  for  a  Mahometan:  having 
continued  to  enjoy  the  highest  dignities  in  Tunis,  ever  since  I  left  it  in  1811:  not  by  those 
fawning  and  versatile  qualities  which  sometimes  lead  to  power,  but  a  steady  and  consis- 
tent discharge  of  public  duty. — Ed. 

*  For  some  very  ingenious  remarks  on  the  national  character  of  Spain,  and  those 
peculiarities  which  make  it  so  totally  diiferent  from  the  rest  of  Europe,  the  reader  is 
referred  to  the  Abbé  de  Pradt's  interesting  M&moires  on  the  late  contest  of  Buonaparte, 
to  subjugate  the  people  of  that  country.  In  p.  168,  of  the  Abbe's  book,  he  shrewdly 
observes:  "  C'est  une  erreur  de  la  geographic  que  d'  avoir  attribué  I'Espagne  à  l'Europe  ; 
elle  appartient  à  1' Afrique:  Sang,  moeurs,  langage,  manière  de.vivre  et  de  combattre,  en 
Espagne  tout  est  Africain." — Ed. 


Allien  a  Moorisli  lady  goes  into  the  country,  slie  is  enclosed  in  a 
species  of  cage  or  pavilion  made  of  osier  twigs,  and  surrounded  with 
an  extremely  fine  gauze,  through  which  the  air  freely  circulates,  and 
she  can  see  those  who  are  outside,  without  the  latter's  being  allowed 
the  same  privilege  with  regard  to  her.  This  curious  vehicle,  gene- 
rally large  enough  to  carry  two  females,  is  seemed  on  a  horse  or  camel, 
and  a  slave  usually  employed  as  conductor. 

There  are  veiy  few  mendicants  to  be  seen  in  Barbary  :  the  reli- 
gious obligations  on  Mussulmen  to  be  charitable,  no  less  than  their 
apparent  inclination  to  give  alms,  together  with  the  natural  abun- 
dance of  the  soil,  all  unite  to  preclude  the  possibility  of  much  indi- 
vidual misery.  In  bestowing  charity  on  a  Moor,  one  should,  however, 
be  carefiil  like  themselves,  to  make  no  promises  of  future  relief;  other- 
wise, nothing  less  than  all  you  possess  will  satisfy  the  avidity  of  an 
African  beggar,  as  past  favours  are,  with  him,  only  a  prelude  to  his 
soliciting  others.  Every  time  a  poor  man  dines  at  your  table,  he 
thinks  his  company  necessary  on  the  following  day;  and  if  you  make 
a  present,  its  frequent  repetition  is  considered  as  a  right,  which  the 
importunate  mendicant  will  expect  to  receive  from  your  heirs  and 
successors  :  if  once  charitable,  you  must  be  always  so. 

A  Greek  merchant  having  given  a  handsome  donation  to  a 
cripple,  whom  he  observed  lying  in  the  street;  the  latter  followed  on 
his  crutches  to  heap  blessings  on  his  benefactor  :  placing  himself  on 
the  spot  near  which  the  merchant  used  to  pass,  he  received  something 
for  several  succeeding  days.  No  sooner  had  these  reiterated  proofs 
of  generosity  gone  abroad,  than  all  united  in  applauding  the  Greek's 
munificence,  and  prayers  were  offered  up  for  the  success  of  his  under- 
takings. He  was  soon  after  obliged  to  make  a  journey  into  Egypt, 
the  mendicant  continued  regularly  to  appear  at  his  post,  and  when- 
ever the  merchant's  domestic  passed,  he  was  sure  to  enquire  after  his 
master,  and  with  uplifted  hands,  repeated  a  prayer  for  his  safe 
return.  After  a  few  months  this  wished  for  event  took  place,  to  the 
no  small  joy  of  the  beggar;  and  on  seeing  him,  the  merchant,  anxious 

JUSTICE.  207 

to  reward  his  apparent  satisfaction,  and  many  felicitations,  was 
preparing  to  give  him  another  proof  of  benevolence;  upon  this, 
the  mendicant  looked  at  him,  but  refused  his  proffered  gift,  at 
the  same  time  observing,  that  it  would  be  much  better  to  pay 
up  all  the  arrears  at  once.  To  tliis  unlocked  for  appeal,  the 
Greek  naturally  replied,  that  he  did  not  understand  him.  The 
beggar  then  informed  him,  that  having  been  absent  six  months,  his 
former  allowance  of  a  real  per  day,  now  amounted  to  one  hundred 
and  eighty,  which  sum  he  claimed  as  a  lawful  debt  !  The  astonished 
Greek  was  at  a  loss,  whether  he  ought  to  laugh  at,  or  chastise  this 
matchless  piece  of  impudence,  and  departed;  but  the  beggar  lost  no 
time  in  having  recourse  to  the  Dey,  to  whom  he  stated,  that  for  a 
whole  month  previous  to  the  Greek's  quitting  Algiers  for  Egypt,  he 
received  a  real  every  day  from  him  in  charity  ;  and  had,  ever  since, 
prayed  for  his  health  and  prosperity:  the  consequence  of  which  was, 
that  the  merchant's  speculations  had  all  been  crowned  with  complete 
success  ;  that  having  been  accustomed  to  receive  his  real  every  morn- 
ing, he  left  off  work  :  and  on  the  Greek's  quitting  Algiers,  without 
any  intimation  of  discontinuing  the  allowance,  he  had  ever  since 
attended  in  the  same  place,  to  enquire  after  his  health,  and  implore 
Heaven  for  his  happy  return  ;  and,  relying  on  the  liberality  he  had 
already  experienced  at  the  merchant's  hands,  he  had  even  contracted 
debts  for  his  maintenance.  The  Greek  did  not  deny  the  fact  of  his 
giving  the  alms  before  he  left  the  city,  but  contended  for  its  having 
been  merely  an  act  of  discretionary  charity.  The  affair  was,  however, 
seriously  examined  and  discussed  i)y  his  highness:  it  concluded, 
by  the  merchant's  being  not  only  obliged  to  pay  the  hundred 
and  eighty  reals,  but  an  additional  piastre,  for  reproaching  the  beggar 
with  the  unreasonableness  of  his  demand  :  he  was  then  permitted  to 
declare  his  determination  not  to  continue  this  kind  of  pension  any 
longer  ! 

Inferiors,  on  approaching  the  great,  kiss  their  hand,  while  equals 
embrace  :    the   Moor  generally  swears   by  the  laws, — mosque,    his 


beard,  and  the  prophet 'shead.  Rank  derived  from  birth  is  never  much  con- 
sidered under  despotic  governments,  like  tliose  of  Barbary.  AVhere  all 
personal  dignity  and  splendor  arises  from  the  post  a  man  occupies,  the 
sole  distinction  is  that  of  being  in  place  ;  and  this  is  so  identified  \/ith 
the  nature  of  the  office,  that  it  very  seldom  extends  to  the  individual  : 
so  that  the  highest  situations  do  not  add  to  the  rank  or  pre-eminence 
of  the  person's  family,  who  may  happen  to  occupy  them  for  the  time 
being.  Under  absolute  and  capricious  rulers,  there  can  only  be 
imperceptible  gradations  of  rank  between  the  governed,  as  its  imme- 
diate creation  and  fall  entirely  depends  on  the  prejudice  and  caprice 
of  a  single  person.  This  is  one  of  the  reasons  why  genealogy  is  con- 
sidered as  a  matter  of  perfect  indifference  in  this  countr3^ 

Without  the  father's  name,  which  they  are  in  the  habit  of  adding 
to  their  own,  it  is  probable,  many  would  not  know  by  what  epithet 
he  ought  to  be  distinguished  in  the  world  :  in  match-making,  and  the 
formation  of  all  family  connection,  the  extent  of  fortune  and  degree  of 
favour  enjoyed  at  the  Dey's  palace,  is  all  that  people  consider.  A 
Cadi  does  not  hesitate  to  give  his  daughter  in  marriage  to  an  artizan, 
provided  it  appears  to  suit  his  worldly  interests.  The  3Ioors  fre- 
quently add  the  name  of  the  town  or  place  they  were  born  in  to  their 
own,  as  :  Abu,  Salech,  Aly,  Mahomed,  El  Basri,  ^-c.  If  to  these- 
be  added  their  titles  and  dignities,  together  with  the  many  virtues 
which  adorn  them  in  their  own  opinion,  not  forgetting  sanctity  of 
manners,  to  which  a  Mahometan  of  the  Moorish  tribe  seldom  forgets 
to  lay  in  his  claim,  they  would  be  little  inferior  to  those  of  the  Spanish 
nobles,  to  whom  the  people  of  northern  Africa  are  justly  compared 
in  various  other  particulars. 

The  manners  and  customs  of  Barbary  do  not,  upon  the  v  hole, 
present  a  very  wide  field  to  excite  the  curiosity  or  enquiry  of  tra- 
vellers ;  and  besides  the  great  difficulty  of  becoming  intime tely 
acquainted  with  them  through  the  accidental  opportunities  v  liich 
occasionally  present  themselves,    in  all  that  relates  to    social  life, 


the  Koran  has  given  a  character  of  the  ntinost  uniformity  to  the  cus- 
toms and  modes  of  living  in  Mahometan  countries. 

Altliough  often  betrothed  in  their  earliest  infancy',  the  marriages 
in  Barbary  are  not  celebrated  until  the  age  of  twelve  or  thirteen  ;  at 
which  period,  according  to  one  of  their  poets, — "  The  rose-bud 
expands,  to  imbibe  the  vivitying  rays  of  love." 

When  the  fathers  of  the  intended  couple  agree  on  a  match,  a 
meeting  takes  place  between  the  families  of  both,  when  the  conditions 
of  the  marriage  are  mutually  settled.  The  Moors  of  the  mountainous 
districts  in  Algiers,  follow  the  practice  of  the  Nasamones  on  those 
occasions,  that  of  the  bridegroom's  holding  the  cup  to  the  lips  of  his 
intended,  while  she  performs  the  same  office  to  him.*  To  this  is 
added  a  promise  of  reciprocal  fidelity  :  little  more  than  the  above  is 
necessary  to  tie  the  matrimonial  knot  in  Barbary.  The  parent  cedes 
his  child  to  the  absolute  controlli  and  possession  of  her  husband  : 
and  as  to  the  dowry,  which  fonns  so  important  a  concern  in  our  choice 
of  a  partner,  it  is  scarcely  spoken  of  amongst  the  Moors.  The  brides 
of  this  country  have  rarely  any  thing  more  than  their  wardrobes,  a 
few  diamonds,  and  some  mattrasses  ;  all  of  which  being  packed  on  a 
camel,  is  paraded  alx>ut  the  city  in  great  pomp,  previous  to  their 
entering  the  dwelling  of  their  future  master. 

It  very  seldom  happens  that  two  young  people  are  consulted  as 
to  their  mutual  inclinations  before  a  marriage  is  decided  on  by  the 
parents  ;  and  there  have  been  frequent  instances  in  which  they  never 
saw  each  other  until  the  wedding-day.  The  bridegroom  has  no 
other  means  of  a.scertaining  the  beauty  or  attractions  of  his  intended 
wife,  than  by  enlisting  some  cunning  old  female  in  his  cause  :  she  is 
enabled  to  visit  the  bride  at  home,  and  also  to  meet  her  at  the  bath. 
Upon  these  occasions,  the  emissary  is  generally  charged  with  a  tender 
message,  and  rich  bouquet  of  roses.     The  lover  is  besides  very  atten- 

*  I  have  frequently  seen  this  curious  species  of  endearment  practised  amongst  the 
Spanish  peasantry  :  nor  is  it  altogether  unknown  in  the  higher  walks  of  life. — £d. 

E  E 


tive  in  observing  his  fair  one,  as  she  goes  to  the  mosque  ;  drawing  the 
most  important  inferences  of  manners  and  character  from  her  mode  of 
walking,  and  various  other  gestures  while  abroad.  This  method  of 
studying  the  human  mind,  is  carried  very  far  in  Barbary,  and  gene- 
rally leads  to  some  very  accurate  conclusions. 

A  great  female  sovereign  of  the  north,  wishing  to  marry  her  son 
to  one  of  three  daughters,  the  ollspring  of  a  German  princess,  invited 
all  of  them  to  her  court  for  the  purpose  of  making  the  choice  herself. 
Happening  to  be  at  the  window  of  her  palace  when  the  visitors 
arrived,  she  had  an  opportunity  of  seeing  the  three  sisters  alight 
from  their  carnage,  the  eldest,  by  a  false  step,  got  her  clothes 
entangled,  and  fell  ;  the  second  descended  with  an  air  of  un- 
affected ease  and  dignity  ;  while  the  third  sprang  to  the  ground 
without  touching  the  vehicle,  and  seemed  to  fly  up  the  stairs  which 
led  to  the  vestibule.  The  first  who  attempted  to  alight,  was  con- 
sidered by  her  majesty,  as  uniting  very  little  activity,  with  great 
aAvkwardness  of  manner;  the  youngest  she  thought  too  lively  and 
volatile  :  she  therefore  selected  the  second,  from  whose  method  of 
leaving  the  carriage,  grace  appeared  to  be  combined  with  gentleness 
and  decorum  :  nor  had  she  afterwards  any  cause  to  regret  her  choice. 

The  passions  inspired  by  this  fugitive  mode  of  merely  seeing  each 
other  for  a  moment,  and  then  disappearing,  often  become  extremely 
violent.  "Love,"  says  an  African  poet,  "which  increases  by  slow 
degrees,  passes  from  the  eyes  to  the  heart,  as  the  water  of  fountains 
descends  into  rivers;  while  that  passion  which  is  awakened  by  the  first 
sight  of  a  beautiful  object,  may  be  compared  to  those  torrents  which 
are  precipitated  from  the  mountains  where  no  rain  has  fallen." 

A  few  days  before  the  marriage  is  celebrated,  the  bridegroom 
rides  about  the  town  to  the  sound  of  drums  and  fifes,  and  a  number 
of  friends  accompany  him  ;  some  carrying  banners,  and  others  occa- 
sionally discharging  their  muskets  into  the  air.  On  tlic  wedding-day 
he  takes  another  round,  at  which  still  greater  ceremony  is  observed. 
On  this  occasion  he  is  better  attended,  and  covered  by  a  red  cloak. 

MARRIAGE».  211 

with  a  fine  sabre  hung-  at  his  side.  There  is  also  a  veil  thrown 
over  his  face  to  prevent  the  operation  of  the  evil  eye.  Three  days 
previous  to  the  celebration,  the  bride  is  conducted  to  the  bath,  which 
is  repeated  every  succeeding  one,  until  the  marriage  takes  place  :  on 
that  occasion,  all  the  relatives  and  friends  being  assembled,  the  hus- 
band repeats  a  prayer  before  them,  and  then  proceeds  to  join  the  bride, 
who  is  in  her  apartment  :  they  are  now  declared  man  and  wife  by 
means  of  certain  forms  of  prayer  which  are  recited  by  the  husband, 
and  Imans,  who  are  in  attendance.  After  this  all  the  company, 
except  the  bride's  mother  or  next  relatives,  retire  ;  upon  which  the 
lady  appears,  with  her  face  uncovered  to  her  husband,  for  the  first 
time,  in  the  presence  of  those  persons  who  remain  behind  to  witness 
the  last  ceremony  of  their  union.  Having  feasted  his  eyes  for  a 
little  time,  the  bridegroom  withdraws  to  his  own  house  ;  and  about 
nine  in  the  evening,  the  whole  of  those  who  were  present  at  the 
marriage,  accompany  the  bride  to  her  husband's  dwelling.  The 
lady's  father  is  alone  absent  on  this  occasion  ;  it  being  thought  inde- 
corous for  him  to  appear  at  this  last  assemblage  of  the  happy  couple's 
friends.  However  short  the  distance  to  the  bridegroom's  house,  the 
bride  is  conducted  there  on  horseback,  but  enclosed  in  a  pavilion, 
such  as  that  already  described.  Several  lig^hted  torches  precede  and 
follow  the  cavalcade  ;  and  on  being  introduced  by  her  relatives,  great 
care  is  taken  that  she  does  not  touch  the  threshold  of  her  husband's 
door, — that  being  considered  as  a  bad  omen.  On  the  bridegroom 
coming  down  to  receive  her  at  the  door,  the  whole  party  take  their 
leave,  with  the  exception  of  a  few  females,  who  remain  to  officiate 
as  bridal  nymphs.  These  contrive  to  amuse  the  bride  with  various, 
love  tales,  while  un<lressing  her;  and  that  done,  conclude  by  an 
amorous  ditty  in  praise  of  matrimony,  &c. 

As  amongst  the  ruder  nations  of  southern   Africa,  the  proofs  of 
virginity  are  also  carried  about  the  city  in  triumph.      This  is    so 
essential  in  Barbary,  that  when  not  clearly  ascertained,  the  bride- 
groom is  not  only  at  liberty  to  send  the  lady  back  to  her  father,  but 
E  E  2 

212  CÓiSDlTlON    OP   WIDOWS. 

the  latter  is  covered  with  shame.   Tor  having  so  badly  superintended 
the  honor  of  his  daughter. 

When  a  Moor  dies,  his  favourite  wife  inherits  a  third  of  his  pro- 
perty: if  she  dies  tirsi,  a  similar  privilege  is  enjoyed  by  the  husband  : 
but  during  their  lives,  the  property  of  each  is  not  common  to  both. 
On  the  death  of  a  father,  the  legitimate  offspring  receive  an  equal 
proportion,  while  the  children  of  concubines  only  come  in  for  a  fourth. 
Males  are  supported  at  the  father's  expence  until  the  age  of  seven  : 
during  which  time,  they  are  nevertheless,  under  the  mother's  charge, 
when  they  are  transferred  to  the  father,  if  she  does  not  like  to  retain 
them  any  longer  :  in  this  case,  she  undertakes  to  provide  for  their 
fixture  support.  The  females  remain  with  the  mother  until  they  are 
married.  In  Barbary  a  man  can  take  a  new  wife  to  himself,  three 
days  after  having  repudiated  the  last  ;  while  the  female  must  remain 
single  three  months.  The  husband  can  at  all  times  discard  his  wife, 
but  he  is  required  to  return  what  is  called  her  saddok,  or  dowry  and 
wardrobe.  In  the  event  of  changing  his  mind,  he  cannot  take  her 
back,  until  she  has  married  another  ;  who,  having  enjoyed  all  the 
rights  of  a  husband,  goes  through  the  ceremony  of  repudiating  her 
in  his  turn  :  she  is  then  allowed  to  rejoin  her  former  spouse.  The 
extreme  facility  with  which  the  Mahometans  are  allowed  to  dissolve 
marriages,  has,  amongst  its  various  other  evils,  introduced  the  practice 
of  people's  marrying  without  any  previous  knowledge  of  each  other's 
disposition  or  character  :  thus  making  that  sacred  obligation  a 
matter  of  convenience,  to  gratify  momentary  feelings  of  libertinism. 
Sympathy,  esteem,  or  conformity  of  sentiments,  are  out  of  the  ques- 
tion in  these  connections.  Matrimony  has  been  compared  to  a  chain  : 
if  not  made  a  tender  tie  by  mutual  concord,  to  the  women  of  Barbary 
it  is  a  wretched  fetter;  while  the  men  regard  it  as  imposing  no  obli- 
gation whatever.  The  contempt  in  which  women  are  held,  added  to 
the  facility  of  procuring  fresh  objects  of  gratification  whenever  they 
please,  has  led  to  an  habitual  indulgence  of  the  most  abominable 
excesses  amongst  this  infamous  race  ;  and  such  is  the  danger  of  mak-^ 


ing  vice  familiar,  that  their  depravity  is  publicly  acknowledged  with 
no  less  boldness  than  effrontery. 

Experience  has  long  proved,  that  polygamy,  which  Mahomet 
has  recommended  to  his  followers,  as  the  greatest  perfection  of  a 
Mus.selman's  life,  is  not  only  inimical  to  the  increase  of  population, 
but  ruinous  to  domestic  happiness  of  every  kind,  and  that  unanimity 
which  can  alone  secure  the  tranquillity  of  parents  and  children.  The 
prophet  has  proved  himself  a  bad  reasoner,  in  saying,  that  "  the 
more  you  draw  out  of  the  well,  the  more  water  it  yields  :"  women,  on 
the  contrary,  soon  find  it  dried  up. 

Some  have  maintained,  that  it  is  not  contrary  to  the  law  of 
nature  to  possess  four  wives  ;  because  in  the  population  of  Asia  and 
Africa,  there  are,  upon  an  average,  four  women  to  each  man.  It  is 
added,  that  the  females  are  marriageable  at  twelve  years  of  age,  though 
still  retaining  all  the  manners  of  children:  thus  they  are  only  capable 
of  gratifying  the  passions,  without  contributing  to  the  society  of  a 
husband  ;  and  when  at  twenty-five,  they  should  become  agreeable 
companions,  their  fecundity  and  personal  charms  disappear.  In 
Europe,  where  a  female  at  the  age  of  thirty  or  forty,  frequently  retains 
the  graces  of  person,  improved  by  those  of  the  mind,  .she  is  often  more 
acceptable  than  an  inexperienced  girl,  to  a  man  of  sentiment  :  while 
in  Africa  and  the  East,  men  are  content  to  pass  the  most  valuable 
years  of  their  lives,  with  women  whom  they  cannot  love,  for  the  mere 
pleasure  of  sensual  gratification.  Hence  the  necessity  of  taking  a 
second  wife,  while  the  first  superintends  the  domestic  concerns,  and 
education  of  her  children.  But  de.spoti,sm  has  had  recourse  to  other 
reasonings  in  support  of  this  unnatural  system  :  amongst  the  rest,  it 
arrogates  a  degree  of  savage  glory,  from  lowering  and  despising  the 
weaker  sex. 

It  is  true,  that  taking  the  whole  mass  of  the  Moorish  population, 
there  are  not  many  who  avail  themselves  of  the  dangerous  privilege 
of  taking  a  second  wife  ;  for  the  conditions  annexed  to  it,  are  so 
numerous,  as  to  prevent  most  people  from  fulfilling  them.     A  man  is 


oblig^ed  first  to  prove  before  the  Cadi,  that  he  can  support  an  addi- 
tional female  according  to  her  rank  in  life,  and  to  which  she  has  been 
accustomed.  Some,  possessing  ample  means,  avoid  having  recourse 
to  polygamy  from  motives  of  economy,  and  to  prevent  the  discordance 
which  is  sure  to  arise  from  a  plurality  of  wives.  Although  allowed 
to  take  as  many  concubines  as  they  please,  it  is  in  the  legitimate 
wife's  power  to  dismiss  them  whenever  she  thinks  proper  :  if  she  does 
not  take  advantage  of  this  liberty,  care  is  taken  to  be  constantly  on  the 
alert,  so  that  the  new  favourite  shall  not  gain  too  great  an  ascendancy 
over  the  mind  of  her  husband.  If  any  favour  is  accorded  to  him  by 
the  concubine,  his  wife  takes  care  to  keep  the  merit  of  such  conde- 
scension to  herself. 

As  might  be  expected,  it  is  scarcely  possible  to  describe  with 
what  warm  interest  a  Moorish  woman  listens  to  an  account  of  our 
customs  with  regard  to  her  own  sex  ;  and  how  she  envies  that  tender 
consideration  in  which  the  females  of  Europe  are  held;  also  the 
feeling  manner  in  which  they  lament  their  melancholy  fate  whenever 
they  visit  the  consuls'  wives,  or  those  of  other  Christian  residents. 
These  visits  are  generally  devoted  to  a  recapitulation  of  all  their 
unmerited  sufferings,  the  coldness  of  their  husbands,  and  innumerable 
hardships  to  which  they  are  exposed  in  the  harem.  But  of  all  our 
institutions,  none  is  more  applauded  by  these  unhappy  victims,  than 
that  of  our  only  being  able  to  marry  and  blend  our  destiny  with  one 
wife.  They  believe  the  women  of  Europe  to  be  on  this  account 
infinitely  more  happy;  and  very  properly,  that  the  men  are  still  more 
so.  According  to  a  German  poet,  he  that  possesses  four  wives  is 
fortunate;  but  the  man  who  has  only  one,  is  a  demi-god! 



Funeral  Ceremouies  and  Lamentations  over  the  Dead  in  Barbar  y. — Mourning 
of  Widows. —  Vows  of  Friendship  and  Fidelity  made  on  the  Graves  of 
departed  Relatives. —Table  of  the  Moors. — Cuscousu. — Pillaw  and  Basseen. 
—  Use  of  Sugar  and  Spices. —  Yemen  Coffee. — Amusements  of  the  Moors. — 
Method  of  enticing  Birds. — Chess,  and  other  Games  of  Chance. — Social  Meet- 
ings.^The  Kiosco. — Barbers'"  Shops.— Moorish  Baths. — Mode  of  Bathing. 
— Baths  frequented  once  a  Week  by  the  Women.—Singers,  and  Dancing 
Girls.— Itinerant  Story  Tellers.— The  Bastinado.— Life  of  the  rich  Moor. 

As  in  most  other  countries,  there  is  also  great  apparent  sorrow 
evinced  in  Barbary  when  any  one  dies.  No  sooner  is  an  event  of 
this  nature  announced,  than  several  women  with  dishevelled  hair 
and  every  symptom  of  grief,  rush  into  the  house  of  the  deceased, 
clasping  their  hands  and  uttering  loud  cries  of  despair.  When  these 
have  subsided  a  little,  one  of  the  party,  generally  an  old  female 
acquaintance,  pronounces  a  laboured  eulogy  on  the  merits  of  her 
departed  friend  :  this  is  immediately  followed  by  a  renewal  of  the 
previous  sobbings  and  lamentations.  On  the  coffin,  which  is  formed 
in  the  shape  of  an  oblong  square,  being  brought  in,  all  the  women 
put  their  heads  into  it.  This  ceremony  is  accompanied  by  increased 
mourning,  and  soon  after  two  females  come  in  with  lighted  tapers 
and  bunches  of  flowers,  which  are  strewed  over  the  coffin.  The  body 
being  wrapped  up  in  a  winding  sheet,  is  placed  in  it  ;  and  followed 
to  the  grave  by  the  whole  assembly,  is  consigned  to  its  final  home 
in  the  midst   of  their   wailings.*     If   a  widow    is  left   to   deplore 

*  The  subject  of  Moorish  funeral  rites  is  very  minutely  detailed  in  TuUy's  Narrative, 
vide  p.  90  ;  where  the  reader  will  find  some  extremely  curious  facts  related. ^d. 


the  loss  of  her  husband,  she  is  instantly  surrounded  by  a  large  circle 
of  sympathizing  friends,  who  absolutely  overwhelm  her  with  con- 
solation, imtil  she  is  frequently  obliged  to  withdraw  from  their  further 
assiduities.  Numberless  lives  have  been  sacrificed  in  Mahometan 
countiies,  from  the  extraordinary  practice  of  hastening  to  inter  bodies 
almost  immediately  after  animation  appears  to  be  suspended. 

This  barbarous  custom  arises  from  an  idea,  that  the  felicity  of 
the  next  world,  does  not  commence  till  the  corpse  is  under  ground  : 
so  that  no  sooner  has  it  been  washed,  and  a  composition  of  various 
essences  or  camphor  put  into  the  ears  and  nostrils,  but  the  coffin  is 
btought,  and  the  funeral  takes  place.  And  in  proceeding  to  the 
grave,  the  Moors  get  there  as  fast  as  they  possibly  can,  assigning  as  a 
reason,  that  the  angel  of  justice  is  waiting  to  receive  the  soul  of  the 
deceased.  The  graves  of  men  are  distinguished  by  a  turban,  while 
that  of  a  female  is  ornamented  with  a  large  nosegay  of  the  finest 
flowers.  After  the  burial  a  profusion  of  meat  and  other  refreshments 
are  distributed  to  the  friends  who  have  attended:  this  is  called  the 
repast  of  the  sepulchre. 

The  more  any  one  is  afllicted  at  the  death  of  a  relation  or  friend, 
the  greater  is  his  neglect  and  indifference  to  dress  and  person .  While 
the  mourning  lasts,  every  kind  of  superfluous  indulgence  and  orna- 
ment is  suppressed  :  looking-glasses,  jewels,  and  perfumes  are  alike 
neglected.  A  widow  of  rank  changes  her  band  richly  set  with 
precious  stones,  for  a  simple  piece  of  white  ribbon,  while  the  clothes 
she  wears  are  purposely  soiled  to  give  her  a  greater  appearance  of 
mourning.  She  also  goes  down  to  the  beach,  if  living  near  the  sea: 
and  seated  on  a  rock,  arranges  her  hair,  discomposed  by  the  recent 
loss,  with  a  golden  comb,  procured  for  the  occasion.  At  the  end  of 
four  months  and  ten  days,  she  returns  to  the  spot  with  the  identical 
comb,  and  four  fresh  eggs  ;  the  latter  of  which,  is  given  to  the  first 
person  she  meets,  who  cannot  refuse  them,  although  they  are  sup- 
posed to  carry  away  all  the  afflictions  of  the  donor  :  and  the  comb 
is  thrown  into  the  sea.  She  is  then,  and  not  before,  at  liberty  to 
marry  again. 


Every  Friday  the  parents  and  relatives  of  a  person  recently 
deceased,  visit  his  tomb,  in  the  belief  that  on  the  above  day,  the 
spirits  of  the  dead  hover  about  it,  to  converse  with  each  other  con- 
cerning the  objects  of  their  affections  left  behind  on  earth.  It  is 
sometimes  customary  with  the  Moors  to  dress  and  adorn  the  dead  body, 
so  that  it  shall  not  make  a  contemptible  figure  on  being  introduced  to 
the  great  assembly  of  spirits.  The  graves  are  covered  with  smooth 
mortar,  and  frequently  whitewashed  ;  flowers  are  also  cultivated 
round  them,  while  care  is  taken  to  root  up  all  the  noxious  herbs  or 
plants  found  in  their  vicinity.  The  oath  of  friendship  and  fidelity  is 
often  taken  over  the  grave  of  a  newly  buried  friend.  This  ceremony 
consists  of  swearing  by  the  altar  of  the  prophet,  and  sepulchres  of 
their  lost  friends,  and  then  making  a  wound  in  each  other's  arms  ; 
whence  the  blood  flows  into  a  bowl,  and  mixes  in  sign  of  amity  and 
reconciliation.  Thus  in  the  wilds,  and  impenetrable  woods  of  North 
America,  the  savages  select  a  tempestuous  day,  and  hanging  up  the 
bones  of  their  departed  friends  to  the  highest  branches,  the  most 
sacred  treaties  and  alliances  are  made  :  while  the  whitened  remains 
are  agitated  to  and  fro  by  the  storm,  the  venerated  shades  of  their 
former  possessors  are  invoked,  and  no  doubt  is  entertained  of  the 
Great  Spirit's  being  present  at  this  solemn  feast  of  souls,  as  it  is  called. 
It  is  also  common  in  the  islands  of  the  South  Sea,  for  the  natives  to 
assemble  at  their  solitary  morai,  for  the  purpose  of  exchanging  vows 
of  reciprocal  afl'ection  over  the  scattered  tumuli  of  former  friends. 

The  3Ioorish  tombs,  surrounded  by  cooling  shades,  and  thickly 
planted  with  flowers,  call  to  mind  the  romantic  cemeteries  of  France 
and  Switzerland.  There  is  scarcely  any  country  in  which  a  great 
portion  of  the  inhabitants  do  not  derive  a  secret  and  delightful 
source  of  consolation  from  the  idea  of  departed  friends  being  present 
at  the  scenes  of  life,  and  keeping  up  a  mysterious  intercourse  with 
those  who  fiequent  their  graves  to  pay  the  sacred  tribute  of  sympathy 
and  tears. 

In  their  diet  the  Moors  generally  vary  between  the  extremes  of 

F  F 

218  DIET. 

frugality  and  gluttony.  Supporting  hunger  and  thirst  with  amazing 
patience,  when  tlie  occasion  presents  itself,  they  devour  with  the 
voracity  of  a  Lombard.  The  celebrated  cuscousu  is  prepared  by 
putting  a  quantity  of  rice,  and  another  grain  peculiar  to  Barbary,  in 
a  perforated  vase,  which,  being  laid  over  a  boiler  well  filled  with 
fowls,  mutton,  &c.  the  steam  of  the  latter  cooks  the  cuscousu,  when 
some  butter,  and  the  more  solid  contents  of  the  boiler,  are  mixed  up 
with  it,  making,  upon  the  whole,  one  of  the  finest  dishes  imaginable  : 
no  wonder,  therefore,  that  this  should  be  the  national,  and  I  may 
add  universal  food  in  Barbary.  The  pillaw  and  basseen  is  a  species  of 
pudding,  to  which  salt  beef  or  mutton  is  sometimes  added.  They  also 
indulge  in  hashes,  which  together  with  their  roast  meat  are  extremely 
well  prepared.  Great  quantities  of  sugar,  spices,  and  otto  of  roses,  are 
used  in  all  their  culinary  preparations. 

Before  eating,  the  Moors  invariably  wash  their  hands,  they  then 
sit  down  cross-legged  round  the  table,  which  nearly  touches  the  floor  : 
neither  cloth  or  napkins  are  used,  one  towel  serving  in  common  for 
the  whole  party.  ITie  spoons  are  generally  of  wood  ;  he  who  makes 
use  of  an  ivoiy  one,  being  considered  a  great  man.  As  to  knives  and 
forks  they  are  never  employed,  nor  are  they  much  wanted,  owing  to 
the  meats  being  always  in  small  pieces,  and  so  much  boiled,  as  to 
separate  with  the  greatest  facility.  There  are  no  glasses  either  ;  all, 
more  pccudum,  drink  water  or  lemonade  out  of  a  large  pitcher  :  wine 
is  of  course  prohibited,  and  with  it  all  mirth  and  gaiety.  Notwith- 
standing the  prophet's  injunctions,  many  of  the  faithful,  particularly 
the  Turks  and  Moors,  frequent  the  taverns  in  Algiers  ;  and  on  these 
occasions,  forgetting  the  precepts  of  religion,  they  do  not  disdain 
to  take  very  large  draughts  of  the  potent  juice!  The  Musselraen 
find  little  difficulty  in  giving  themselves  absolution  for  this  kind  of 
excess  ;  and  many  are  no  doubt  liberal  enough  to  believe,  they  are 
even  acting  conscientiously,  in  thus  adding  to  the  generosity  of  their 
morose  nature.  They  are,  however,  obliged  to  dispatch  the  bottle 
with  some  celerity,  as  otherwise  detection  might  ensue:  like  M.  La 

USE    OF   COFFEE.  219 

Mothe,  the  spri,t;htly  Bishop  of  Orleans,  who  in  a  large  party,  hear- 
ing that  there  was  a  liqueur  called  the  milk  of  Venus,  handing  round, 
which  could  not  well  be  pronounced  in  the  presence  of  his  grace, 
successively  swallowed  three  or  four  glasses,  observing  that  no  time 
was  to  be  lost  in  destroying  so  dangerous  an  enemy  ! 

Whenever  an  Arab  or  Moor  is  crossing  the  desert  he  has  usually 
something  in  his  mouth  to  chew  :  this  sometimes  consists  of  tobacco- 
leaf,  and  is  said  to  give  considerable  nutriment,  operating  like  the 
flour  made  out  of  oyster-shells,  used  by  the  inhabitants  of  South  Ame- 
rica ;  which,  as  well  as  their  famous  coca,  enables  them  to  pass  whole 
days  without  any  other  sustenance.  But  that  which  affords  most 
pleasure  and  relief  to  a  Moor,  after  a  fatiguing  day's  journey,  is  a 
cup  of  coff'ee  :  of  which  there  is  an  immense  consumption  all  over 
Barbary,  as  in  other  Mahometan  countries.  They  prefer  that  of 
Yemen,  and  do  not  grind  it  as  in  Europe  :  after  being  burned,*  it  is 
merely  pounded  in  a  mortar  ;  instead  of  boiling  it  by  infusion,  the 
water  is  poured  on  it,  as  we  prepare  our  tea.  The  coffee  I  saw  made 
in  this  way,  had  all  the  appearance  of  rosolio  :  but  I  did  not  much 
approve  of  their  drinking  it  without  sugar  ;  while  they  thought  me 
absolutely  mad,  for  using  so  much.  On  this  subject  I  could  have 
repeated  with  our  celebrated  poet  Redi  : 

Beverei  prima  il  veleno 

Che  un  bicchier  che  fosse  pieno 

Dell'  amaro  e  reo  cafFé. 

Ali  that  is  dear  and  amiable  in  this  world  bears  the  title  and 
character  of  beauty  :  sweetness  is  also  tiequently  applied  to  objects  of 
approbation  :  music  is  siveet,  so  is  a  fine  climate  or  impressive  sermon. 
Is  any  one  disposed  to  eulogize  a  friend,  he  is  a  siveet  fellow,  and  his 

*  Every  one  recollects  Buonaparte's  decrees  against  the  colonial  produce  of  England  : 
in  which  it  was  ordered,  that  all  such  articles  should  be  burnt.  One  day,  on  entering  the 
apartment  of  his  first  minister,  he  surprised  him  in  drinking  coffee  ;  and  in  an  angry  tone, 
asked  «don't  you  know  my  orders?"  Upon  which  the  minister  replied,  "it  has  been' 
burnt,  sire  !" — Ed. 

F    F    2 


words  are  like  honey  !  Advice  ought  to  be  sweet,  and  sweetness  should 
temper  mercy.  The  severity  of  the  fair  sex  should  partake  of  the 
same  quality  :  so  ought  power  in  the  hands  of  kings.  How  beautitiil 
is  woman  when  she  favours  her  admirers  with  les  i/eu,v  doux  !  And 
what  greater  treasure  can  we  possess  than  a  billet  doux  ? 

No  sooner  have  the  Moors  finished  their  repast,  than  they  again 
wash  their  hands,  and  rising,  without  any  other  ceremony,  proceed 
to  smoke  their  pipes.  They  can  neither  approve  or  comprehend  the 
European  custom  of  sitting  at  table  for  hours  after  dinner,  merely  to 
falk  scandal,  and  discuss  political  subjects.  To  them,  it  is  far  more 
agreeable  and  salutary  to  retire  and  take  a  siesta,  in  the  manner  of 
the  Spaniards.  Mahomet  himself  has  promised,  that  God  will  allow 
the  just,  in  Paradise,  a  small  room  where  they  can  retire  after  meals 
to  enjoy  a  grateful  and  luxurious  nap. 

The  indolent  and  monotonous  life  of  a  Moor,  admits  of  but  very 
little  amusement  :  if  occasionally  disposed  to  shake  otf  their  habitual 
laziness,  they  mount  their  barb,  and  absent  themselves  for  a  few  days 
in  the  country.  Of  late  years  they  also  seem  to  have  taken  much 
greater  delight  in  fowling  :  in  the  pursuit  of  this  amusement,  they 
have  one  very  singular  practice,  that  of  placing  themselves  under  a 
small  tent,  painted  with  various  colours,  round  which  quails  and 
other  birds  flock  with  eagerness,  and  are  thus  shot  in  great 

Draughts  and  chess,  are  the  })rincipal  games  played  in  Barbary  ; 
and  I  observed  another  of  this  species  at  Algiers,  which  appeared  to 
be  full  of  combination  and  ingenuity.  Their  religion  prohibits  card- 
playing  ;  and  the  more  rigid  amongst  them  are  quite  astonished  by 
what  fatality  Europeans  can  occupy  themselves  so  incessantly  in 
moving  about  little  scraps  of  paper,  in  Avhich  they  cannot  possibly 
discover  any  meaning.  The  Mahometans  would  agree  perfectly  with 
the  native  of  Siam,  who,  during  a  visit  to  a  great  nation,  tlms  wrote 
to  his  friend  at  home  :  "  The  French  say  they  only  adore  one  God; 
but  I  cannot  believe  it,  as  besides  living  divinities,  to  whom  they  appear 


to  offer  up  so  many  vows,  there  are  several  inanimate  ones,  whom 
they  sacrifice  to,  in  private  companies  ;  where  a  large  round  altar, 
covered  with  a  green  cloth,  and  illuminated  in  the  centre,  is  seen, 
surrounded  by  several  people,  who  are  seated  as  we  are  in  our  domestic 
sacrifices  :  one  of  them,  who  appears  to  be  the  high  priest,  spreads  a 
number  of  these  leaves  on  the  table,  which  are  taken  out  of  a  small 
book  held  in  one  hand.  On  these  are  represented  a  variety  of  the 
most  deformed  figures,  which  must  of  course  represent  the  divinities  ; 
as,  no  sooner  are  they  distributed,  than  each  of  the  worshi[)pers  lays 
down  as  large  an  ofi^ering  as  he  can  afford  on  one  or  other  of  them. 
I  observed  too,  that  these  were  much  larger  than  they  were  usually  in 
the  habit  of  making  in  the  ordinary  places  of  worship.  After  the 
ceremony  of  spreading  the  leaves,  and  making  the  offerings  is  over, 
the  high  priest  places  his  trembling  hand  on  the  remainder  of  the 
terrible  book,  continuing  some  moments  with  his  eyes  rivetted  to  the 
table,  and  apparently  immoveable.  All  the  company,  as  if  imploring 
some  signal  blessing,  look  with  fearful  anxiety  towards  the  petrified 
chief:  soon  after,  as  he  proceeds  to  turn  over  the  leaves  in  his  hands, 
each  individual  seems  to  be  agitated  by  a  different  impulse  :  some 
clasping  their  hands,  look  up  to  Heaven  with  eyes  full  of  anxiety  ; 
while  others  bite  their  lips,  grind  their  teeth,  and  mutter  imprecations; 
a  third  party  begin  to  bite  their  fingers  and  stamp  upon  the  ground  : 
but  scarcely  has  the  high  priest  turned  over  a  few  leaves,  than  he  also 
becomes  furious  :  tearing  the  book  he  overturns  the  altar,  and  heaps 
maledictions  on  the  sacrifice;  upon  this,  the  whole  is  a  scene  of  riot 
and  confusion.  I  have  been  led  to  think  that  theirs  is  a  jealous  god, 
who  in  order  to  punish  them  for  the  sacrifices  they  offer  to  so  many 
earthly  deities,  sends  a  demon  to  torment  each  of  them." 

With  regard  to  social  intercourse  as  practised  in  Europe,  it  is 
scarcely  known  inBarbary  ;  where  people  seldom  meetexcept  on  matters 
of  business.  An  hour  after  sun-set,  every  one  retires  to  his  own  house  ; 
and  if  there  be  an  occasional  meeting,  it  is  passed  very  differently 
to  those  of  more  civilized,   and  less  depraved  countries.  Some  hours  of 

•i22  barbers'    SHOiPS. 

the  day  are,  in  warm  weather,  generally  spent  in  a  kind  of  little 
portico,  called  kioscos  :  these  are  covered  at  the  top,  and  being  open  on 
each  side,  usually  command  an  extensive  horizon.  Here  they  remain 
smoking  tobacco  and  rose  leaves,  the  former  of  which  is  by  some 
conuiiunicated  through  rose-water,  as  by  the  Indian  hooker.  A  . 
cup  of  strong  Yemen  coffee  is  frequently  taken  during  this  favourite 
lounge  :  it  is  still  further  enlivened  by  the  appearance  of  public  singers 
and  dancers  ;  each  of  whom  endeavour  to  amuse  the  company  by  a 
combination  of  obscenity  and  voluptuousness,  only  to  be  equalled 
by  the  baladieres  of  the  East.  It  is  strange  to  observe  with  what  a 
degree  of  profound  silence  and  gravity,  the  Moors  witness  these 
scenes,  being  the  whole  time  as  serious  as  if  attending  to  a  religious 
ceremony.  This  taciturn  disposition  extends  to  all  their  associations  : 
and  I  have  seen  a  party  sit  together  for  nearly  two  hours,  without 
exchanging  a  dozen  words;  and  afterwards  depart,  without  the  least 
apparent  desire  of  seeing  each  other  again. 

In  addition  to  the  kiosco,  the  Moors  have  another  grand  rendez- 
vous in  the  barbers'  shops;  which  are,  in  all  countries,  endow  ed  with 
the  privilege  of  disseminating  the  news  of  the  day.  These  receptacles 
are  the  more  esteemed  and  frequented  in  Barbary,  from  tlie  circum- 
.stance  of  their  not  having  to  share  the  glory  of  directing  public 
opinion  with  those  of  apothecaries  ;  who  are  in  Europe,  the  great 
sources  of  anecdote  and  political  intelligence.*  The  barber's  shop  in 
Algiers,  is  from  morning  to  night  filled  with  a  number  of  idle  Moors, 
some  reclined  along  benches,  and  others  seated  cross-legged  on  the 
floor  counting  their  beads,  and  listening  with  open  mouths  to  the 
marvellous  stories  of  their  unerring  oracle.  Little,  in  fact,  can  be 
said  in  praise  of  social  meetings  in  Barbary  ;  where  people  unite 
together  more  by  accident  than  design,  and,  instead  of  pursuing  a 
regular  conversation,  substitute  either  a  dead  silence,  or  idle  strain 
of  unmeaning  remarks.       It   is  hardly  necessary  to  add,  that  the 

*  This  observation  is  more  directly  applicable  to  Italy. —  Ed. 

BATHS.  223 

women  are  entirely  excluded  from  these  occasional  parties  ;  and 
this  is  no  trifling  reason  for  the  dullness  and  stupidity  which  presides 
at  them. 

As  in  all  Mahometan  countries,  baths  are  great  objects  of  luxu- 
rious utility  at  Algiers  ;  where  the  excessive  heats  of  summer,  no  less 
than  religious  obligation  render  frequent  ablutions  necessary  :  nor 
has  the  prophet  left  a  more  useful  injunction  on  his  followers,  than 
that  of  having  recourse  to  their  baths,  as  the  best  mode  of  preserving 
health,  and  keeping  oft"  disease. 

The  baths  of  Algiers,  called  hamam  in  the  Arabic,  are  not  inferior 
to  those  of  Constantinople,  so  well  described  by  Lady  Montague. 
The  hall  on  entering,  consists  of  a  large  rotunda  ;  in  which  there 
is  a  bank  to  lay  the  clothes  on  :  when  shipped,  a  large  napkin  is 
thrown  over  the  bather,  and  he  is  then  introduced  into  a  corridor, 
where  the  heat  becomes  merely  perceptible,  thence,  advancing  by 
slow  degrees,  he  successively  passes  through  the  frigidarium,  and 
tepidarium,  until  he  reaches  the  caUdarium  of  the  Romans  ;  here  he 
is  laid  down  on  soft  cushions,  while  the  continually  ascending  vapour 
combining  with  rich  odours,  soon  form  a  cloud  of  incense  round  his 
body.  After  a  few  moments  repose,  and  when  the  limbs  become 
sufficiently  flexible,  two  attendants  take  hold  of  him,  and  no  sooner 
have  all  the  joints  been  made  to  crack,  than  he  is  rolled  about  like 
kneaded  bread.  The  evaporation  on  these  occasions,  is  much  more 
considerable  than  one  would  imagine  ;  and  although  a  little  temporary 
inconvenience  arises  fiom  the  heat  and  friction,  it  is  shortly  succeeded 
by  sensations  of  the  most  agreeable  nature.  The  breathing  becomes 
more  free  than  before  ;  while  the  blood  circulates  with  unusual  celerity, 
and  a  general  feeling  of  animation  spreads  through  thewhol*  system, 
which  seems  to  give  it  new  life  and  activity. 

The  women  of  this  country,  are  passionately  fond  of  visiting  the 
baths,  where  they  can  alone  be  said  to  enjoy  any  degree  of  personal 
liberty  :  here  they  meet  their  female  friends,  and  pass  the  day  in 
occupations,  which  is,  to  them,  the  greatest  pleasure  of  life.    Decked 

224  KILLING    TIMK. 

in  the  most  splendid  apparel  and  richest  ornaments,  all  the  minutiae 
of  the  toilet  is  repeated  after  having  taken  the  bath.  This  ceremony 
concluded,  she  is  washed  from  head  to  foot  in  rose  water,  and  various 
perfumes  are  sprinkled  over  the  hair  :  the  eyebrows  are  next  tinged, 
after  which  her  garments  are  put  on,  having  previously  passed  through 
the  smoke  of  aloe  wood  :  the  toilet  completed,  she  then  proceeds  to 
the  exterior  apartment,  where  candied  fruits,  sweetmeats,  and  other 
refreshments  are  presented;  the  alme  and  dancing  girls  now  make  their 
appearance,  and  while  displaying  all  the  voluptuous  fascinations  of  their 
art,  the  former  sing  choruses,  \Uiich  do  not  serve  to  diminish  the  etlect 
produced  on  the  fair  spectators  by  the  dancers.  One  day  in  each 
week  is  thus  passed  by  the  Moorish  ladies:  bathing,  chatting,  dress- 
ing and  undressing,  occupy  the  whole  of  it  ;  and  is  to  them,  the 
great  business  of  life.  With  its  apparent  sameness,  I  am,  however, 
inclined  to  think,  there  are  some  European  ladies,  who  would  not 
altogether  dislike  the  above  mode  of  passing  a  day.  A  poet,  wishing, 
perhaps,  to  convey  an  idea  of  one  part  of  the  sex,  thus  described  his 
better  half  : 

Ma  femme  est  un  animal 


Qui  bien  ou  mal 


Se  deshabille, 

Babille  ! 

These  various  little  occupations,  and  modes  of  killing  time,  are 
probably  necessaiy  to  the  happiness  of  many  ladies  ;  lest,  as  some 
have  wittily  observed,  time  should  kill  them  !  A  lady  of  high  fashion 
having  once  given  out,  that  she  wanted  a  female  attendant,  one  of  a 
very  promising  appearance  presented  herself:  being  asked  whether 
she  understood  combing  the  hair,  and  arranging  the  head-dress,  the 
new  candidate  replied,  "  that  was  precisely  what  she  principally 
excelled  in,  as  she  only  required  five  minutes  to  comb  and  arrange 
the  largest  head  of  hair."     "  You  may  go,"  said  the  lady,  heaving  a 

DANCING.  225 

deep  sigh;  "  what!  comb  a  lady's  hair  in  tìve  minutes?     And  pray, 
how  am  I  to  pass  the  rest  of  my  morning  V 

In  Europe,  dancing  is  w'ith  every  one  the  symbol  of  joy  and 
indication  of  felicity.  This  art,  as  observed  by  a  character  in  the 
Bourgeois  Gentilhomme,  ought  to  be  deeply  interesting  to  the  policy 
of  all  governments  ;  as  it  teaches  how  to  maintain  the  equilibrium. 
The  celebrated  Marcello,  while  giving  lessons  in  London,  was  once 
observed  to  fix  his  eyes  on  a  pupil,  and  after  considering  for  some 
moments,  as  if  absorbed  in  a  profound  reverie,  suddenly  exclaimed,  que 
de  chases  dans  un  minuet  !  Old  Vestris,  too,  on  first  introducing  his  son 
to  public  notice,  appeared  dressed  in  deep  black,  with  a  large  perriwig 
and  small  sword  by  his  side  ;  turning  to  the  young  candidate,  just  as 
they  both  entered,  he  addressed  him  as  follows  :  mon  Jils,  vous  allez 
danser.  Souvenez  vous  que  vous  paraissez  sur  le  premier  theatre  de 
Vunivers,  et  que  votrepère  vous  regarde  !  Dancing  is  not,  however, 
considered  by  any  means  as  a  dignified  accomplishment  in  Barbary  ; 
where  it  is  exclusively  confined  to  prostitutes  and  slaves,  women  of 
character  being  never  allowed  to  dance.  When  a  party  of  those 
females,  who  live  by  showing  their  dexterity  in  this  way,  are  sent  for 
to  exhibit  before  the  rich  Moors  in  the  kioscos,  they  are  very  liberally 
paid  ;  and  it  is  usual  for  the  master  of  the  feast  to  perform  a  favourite 
act  of  gallantry,  which  is  done  by  throwing  a  few  sequins  or  doub- 
loons into  the  bosom  of  her,  who  has  been  most  distinguished  for 
agility  during  the  entertainment.  The  above  is  by  far  the  most 
agreeable  spectacle  enjoyed  in  Algiers. 

The Jiguranfes  of  Afi-ica  never  dance  in  company  with  men  ;  and 
although  two  sometimes  stand  up,  it  very  seldom  happens  that  more 
than  one  dances  at  a  time  :  very  little  space  is  required  for  these 
exhibitions,  the  whole  art  consisting  in  throwing  about  the  arras, 
various  contortions  of  the  body,  and  gracefully  agitating  a  shawl  or 
long  veil,  generally  kept  for  such  occasions.  While  the  dance  conti- 
nues, it  is  accompanied  by  the   most  significant  smiles    and   ogles  ; 

6  G 


which  are  sure  to  correspond  very  exactly  with  the  amorous  gestures 
and  movements  of  the  body.  However,  the  acme  of  this  talent  seems 
to  consist  in  moving  the  lower  limbs  with  incredible  celerity,  while 
the  upper  remain  perfectly  still.  This  is  certainly  effected  in  a  very 
masterly  manner  ;  but  is  done  at  the  expence  of  decency.  For  my 
part,  I  cannot  persuade  myself  to  admire  any  kind  of  dancing,  in 
which  the  legs  and  feet  are  not  kept  moving  : — to  me,  pantomimica! 
gestures  and  unmeaning  grimaces,  are  a  very  insufficient  substitute  for 
a  fine  spring  or  active  quiver.  A  Parisian  figure  dancer,  having 
broken  a  leg,  the  celebrated  Madame  Arnaud  very  sensibly  said, — 
"  How  fortunate  that  it's  only  a  leg  :  had  it  been  an  arm,  she  would 
no  longer  have  been  enabled  to  dance  !" 

Amongst  the  means  resorted  to  for  amusing  the  populace  in 
Barbary,  there  are  a  set  of  itinerant  story-tellers,  like  the  Mullas  of 
India,  and  rhapsodists  of  Greece,  who  frequent  the  kioscosand  public 
places  ;  where,  mounted  on  a  table,  they  recount  various  histories 
and  tales,  filled  with  the  most  extravagant  improbabilities:  when 
ended,  a  cap  is  handed  round  to  collect  their  reward,  as  our  Italian 
improvisatori  of  the  third  class  who  sing  in  the  streets,  are  in  the  habit 
of  doing.  As  these  ambulatory  historians,  in  occasionally  recurring 
back  to  days  of  former  glory,  sometimes  obtain  the  dangerous  repu- 
tation of  being  rather  wise,  the  less  indulgent  beys  of  the  interior, 
have  a  prompt  method  of  signifying  their  total  disapprobation  of  so 
much  wisdom.  This  notice  is  generally  followed  by  a  broad  hint,  to 
lose  no  time  in  quitting  their  happy  states,  if  they  wish  to  keep  their 
heads  on  their  shoulders. 

From  the  specimens  I  heard,  it  is  extremely  difficult  to  conceive 
how  such  quacks  could  possibly  succeed  in  awakening  sentiments  of 
patriotism  or  a  love  of  liberty  :  they  seemed  more  calculated  to  pro- 
duce a  disposition  to  sleep  than  otherwise;  and  when  sometimes 
invited  by  the  Turkish  officers  to  a  kiosco,  where  stories  were 
to  be  recited,  there  was  no  chance  of  getting  away  for  several  hours. 


Even  many  of  the  Moors,  I  was  induced  to  think,  from  their  yawning, 
found  such  endless  narratives, 

Tedious  as  a  twice-told  tale, 

Vexing  the  dull  ear  of  a  drowsy  man  ! 

Prolixity  has  been  justly  compared  to  long  trains,  which  retard  one's 
progress  while  they  impede  the  free  use  of  the  limbs.  There  are 
many  story-tellers  who  recollect  every  thing,  except  that  of  having 
favoured  their  friends  with  the  same  anecdote,  at  least  six  times  before 
the  last.  A  person  being  once  reproved  for  this  little  failing,  replied 
by  way  of  consolation  ;  "  why.  Sir,  if  I  don't  repeat  my  stories,  I  shall 
forget  them  !" 

The  reader  will,  no  doubt,  be  surprised  to  hear  of  another  curious 
amusement  peculiar  to  this  country,  which  is  neither  more  nor  less 
than  the  bastinado! — Such,  however,  is  the  case;  and  although 
confined  to  those  who  preside  at  any  public  feast  or  large  entertain- 
ment, it  is  certain  that  none  are  ever  held  upon  an  extensive  scale  in 
Barbary,  without  a  liberal  application  of  the  bastinado  : — said  to  be 
for  the  laudable  purpose  of  maintaining  order  and  tranquillity. 
x4.mongst  slaves,  that  joy  and  liberty  which  marks  the  assemblage  of 
freemen,  is  entirely  banished;  and  it  is  an  established  maxim  with 
despotic  governments,  to  display  the  rod  in  keeping  off  the  multitude, 
which  is  supposed  to  give  more  dignity  to  a  feast,  while  it  affords  a 
favourable  opportunity  of  reminding  the  weak,  that  the  powerful  are 
present,  to  prevent  the  trembling  populace  from  approaching  too 
near  them. 

A  great  man  does  not  arrive  in  a  village  of  Barbary,  without  the 
governor  doing  him  the  honour  of  ordering  a  distribution  of  bastina- 
does.— There  are  regularly  appointed  officers  to  execute  tliis  very 
honourable  office  ;  some  being  mounted,  while  others  are  on  foot. 
The  Aga  Baston,  is  also  an  officer  of  the  highest  dignity  in  Algiers, 
his  province  being  that  of  superintending  all  punishments  :  he  is  con- 
sidered as  one  of  the  greatest  props  of  the  government.     "  Strike  and 

G  G   2 


listen,"  said  Themistocles  to  Euribiades;  but  at  the  piratical  city, 
they  strike  without  listening  ;  and  if  anyone  attempts  to  justify  him- 
self, the  dose  is  generally  repeated.  This  is  to  carry  the  staff  of 
office  with  a  vengeance  ! 

Considered  individually,  the  Moor  is  neither  fond  of  company 
or  large  public  meetings.  He  thinks  that  to  mix  in  crowds  is  not 
the  best  way  of  enjoying  life  ;  and  in  this  there  may  be  some  truth, 
particularly  when  we  reflect  on  his  various  other  sedentary  occupa- 
tions. In  fact,  all  the  happiness  of  these  people  consists  in  sitting 
down,  surrounded  with  their  solitary  pleasures. 

A  Moor  cannot  conceive  how  we  derive  any  satisfaction  fi-om 
walking  backwards  and  forwards,  without  any  apparent  object  in 
view.  When  he  meets  a  person  with  whom  he  is  desirous  of  having 
any  serious  conversation,  a  retired  spot  is  directly  found  ;  where  both 
seat  themselves.  When  at  home,  his  chief  delight  is  to  lay  stretched 
along  the  softest  cushions,  inhaling  the  fumes  of  Syrian  tobacco,  and 
sipping  the  best  Yemen  or  Mokka  coffee.  The  pleasures  of  the  kiosco 
have  been  already  described.  To  these  may  be  added,  the  rare  cere- 
mony of  visiting  an  acquaintance  :  whenever  this  happens,  the  visitor 
no  sooner  arrives,  than  rose  water  is  brought  in  and  sprinkled  all 
over  his  face  and  person;  a  censer  is  then  produced,  which  the 
bearer,  generally  a  slave,  holds  up  close  to  the  stranger's  head,  until 
enough  of  the  incense  has  been  imbibed.  After  all,  coffee,  sherbet, 
and  pipes,  are  successively  presented  :  besides  their  favourite  Levant 
tobacco,  which  is  extremely  mild,  the  aloe  leaf  is  frequently  used  in 
the  same  way.  Thus  indulging  their  only  social  gratifications, 
politics  and  religion  are  never  introduced  ;  and  very  few  words  are 
exchanged  :  these  are  usually  confined  to — "  How  do  you  do?"  "  God 
is  good  ;"  "  Algiers  is  a  strong  city  ;  ' — and  similar  phrases,  which 
neither  fatigue  nor  compromise  the  speaker.  He  who  happens  to 
receive  visitants  at  his  house,  never  rises  when  they  enter,  but  remains 
seated  until  they  come  up  and  salute  him:  on  retiring,   the   same 


indifference  is  manifested  on  bis  part  ;  it  being  merely  customary  to 
offer  refreshment. 

During  warm  weather,  the  rich  Moor  will  often  rise  two  hours 
before  day-light  ;  not  for  the  purpose  of  saluting  the  God  of  day,  but 
to  enjoy  the  cooling  zephyrs  of  night.  On  these  occasions,  he  visits 
his  children's  apartment,  gives  orders,  takes  his  coffee,  and  after 
smoking  a  pipe,  lays  down  to  sleep  again.  When  seated  in  his  room, 
four  slaves  attend  with  folded  arms,  and  eyes  steadily  directed  towards 
their  master  ;  anticipating  all  his  wishes,  and  promptly  obeying  the 
slightest  movement  of  his  hand,  or  inclination  of  his  head.  On  getting 
up  a  second  time,   about  eight  o'clock,  he  makes  a  short  visit  to  the 

harem,  dines  at  ten,  takes  coffee,  sleeps  again,  and  then  bathes. 

The  whole  of  the  morning  occupation  concludes  by  a  turn  on  the 
terrace.  At  sun-set,  supper  is  prepared  :  in  less  than  two  hours  after, 
he  is  in  bed  ;  and  the  next  day  re-commences  with  a  similar  round  of 

From  the  foregoing  short  specimen  of  Moorish  habits,  it  will  be 
perceived,  that  their  chief  pleasure  consists  in  little  more  than  that  of 
ministering  to  the  most  selfish  and  enervating  gratifications.  Not 
satisfied,  however,  with  those  I  have  noticed,  many  have  recourse  to 
large  quantities  of  opium,  as  another  means  of  procuring  temporary 
happiness.  In  order  to  enjoy  fancied  bliss,  some  begin  by  burying 
the  past  in  oblivion  ;  and  if  we  may  believe  their  own  accounts, 
nothing  can  be  more  exquisite  than  the  dreams  of  joy,  created  by 
this  deleterious  drug.  It  is,  by  many,  taken  in  great  quantities, 
together  with  an  herb,  called  khaf;  and  either,  is  said  to  produce  an 
extraordinary  effect  on  the  imagination  of  those  who  make  use  of  it. 
The  Moors  tell  you,  that  by  means  of  a  few  grains,  they  are  trans- 
ported to  the  third  heaven,  surrounded  by  immortal  beauties,  and 
inebriated  with  the  most  enchanting  pleasures.  When  speaking  of  a 
man  who  is  loaded  with  the  favours  of  fortune,  he  is  said  to— ^"  live 
upon  opium  I" 


An  ambassador  of  Tippo  Saib's,  when  giving  an  account  of  his 
splendid  reception  at  Versailles,  and  the  wonders  he  saw  there,  termi- 
nated his  narrative,  by  observing,  that  "  To  see  any  thing  like  it  in 
other  countries,  one  must  have  recourse  to  large  doses  of  opium  !" 

Some  have  contended,  that  the  above  mode  of  life  is,  in  many 
respects,  preferable  to  the  agitation  and  bustle  of  European  manners  ; 
asserting,  that  although  activity  and  exercise  is  necessary  in  colder 
climates,  idleness  and  repose  are  inexpressible  sources  of  delight  in 
warmer  ones.  The  inhabitants  of  more  temperate  regions  are,  it  is 
true,  continually  adding  to  their  stock  of  ideas;  but  the  Afi-ican, 
enjoying  the  unutterable  pleasure  of  indolent  calmness  and  easy 
meditation,  is  not  under  the  necessity  of  going  out  in  search  of 
amusement  :  disliking  conversation,  he  patiently  awaits  the  pleasure- 
able  sensations  as  they  arise  in  his  own  mind  ;  and  without  the  smallest 
personal  exertion,  slaves  are  always  in  attendance  to  anticipate  his 
wants,  and  execute  his  orders. 

Better  judges  of  hvmian  nature,  and  amongst  the  rest,  a  distin- 
guished modem  traveller,  are,  however,  of  opinion,  thattothis  indolence, 
so  peculiar  to  the  Moorish  character,  may  be  attributed  many  of  their 
greatest  vices.  To  obtain  his  object,  that  of  being  perfectly  idle,  the 
Mahometan  of  every  country  becomes  selfish,  cruel,  avaricious,  and 
tyrannical.  Pyrrhus  meditated  interminable  wars,  in  the  vain  hope 
of  enjoying  future  repose.  In  fact,  I  very  much  doubt,  notwithstand- 
ing appearances,  whether  this  cold  monotony  of  life  yields  quite  so 
much  happiness,  as  some  of  its  advocates  would  persuade  us.  Lassi- 
tude must  frequently  await  them  ;  and  that  is  by  tar  the  greatest 
enemy  of  human  pleasures.  We  know  also,  that  the  operation  of 
rust  is  sometimes  more  injurious  than  even  the  file  itself 

Total  strangers  to  all  those  finer  feelings  of  the  heart,  and 
generous  sympathies  which  produce  so  many  acts  of  virtue  in  more 
civilized  countries,  I  could  never  discover  any  thing  to  excite  praise 
or  esteem  in  their  mode  of  life.     Without  the  wann  affections  and 


tender  sentiment  of  an  European,  the  Moor  may  indeed  be  said  to 
vegetate  and  even  enjoy  sensual  pleasures;  but  he  is  lost  to  the 
exercise  of  benevolence  and  humanity,  not  to  mention  the  still  more 
exalted  privilege  of  extending  intellectual  faculties.  A  person  once 
speaking  of  an  epicure,  who  took  great  care  of  his  person,  observed, 
that  he  would  no  doubt  live  a  long  time  :  rather  say,  "  he  will  last 
long,"  rejoined  a  by-stander.  The  same  observation  may  be  with 
great  truth  applied  to  all  the  followers  of  Mahomet,  who  vegetate, 
but  cannot  be  said  to  live. 



Moorish  Beauty. — Eyes  and  Features,  Corpulency,  and  Mode  of  fattening 
up  before  Marriage. — Criterion  to  judge  of  a  fine  Woman. — Complexion. 
Embellishments  extraordinary. — Comparison  with  European  Ladies. —  Vanity 
the  ruling  Principle. —  Unhappy  Condition  of  the  Women  in  Barbary  ; 
their  State  of  Servitude  and  ill  Treatment. — Ideas  of  the  Moors  with  regard 
to  their  Creation. —  Their  prerrmture  old  Age. — Jealousy. — Ridiculous 
Precautions  to  prevent  Women  from  being  seen  or  .spoken  to. — Inevitable 
Consequence  of  being  discovered  in  an  Intrigue.— Story  of  a  Tunisian 
Lady.— Susceptibility  and  Power  of  Love. — Moorish  Houses  favourable 
to  Intrigue. — Argusses  occasionally  outwitted. — Affectionate  Conduct  of  the 
Moorish  Ladies  towards  their  Husbands,  àfc. 

JS  she  handsome  ?  is  always  the  first  question  we  ask  of  those  who 
mention  a  lady  in  our  hearing  :— and  the  weaker  is  very  justly  denomi- 
nated the /air  sex.  Lovers  and  poets,  with  equal  propriety,  call  those 
who  may  have  inflamed  their  hearts  or  inspired  their  heads,  beautifiil; 
and  although  not  very  abundantly  supplied  with  materials,  my  duty 
and  admiration  would  remain  very  incomplete,  were  I  to  omit  giving 
some  little  account  of  African  beauty.  Those  of  my  European  ac- 
quaintances in  Algiers,  who,  "  more  bless'd  than  I,"  had  the  pleasure 
of  making  greater  discoveries  on  the  subject,  describe  them  as  pos- 
sessing the  utmost  regularity  of  features  and  finest  complexions.  The 
celebrated  Rivarol  being  asked  what  he  thought  of  the  ladies  of 
Paris  and  Berlin,  answered,  "  that  the  veins  of  the  Parisian  fair  ones 
were  filled  with  milk  ;  while  pure  blood  seemed  to  flow  in  those  of  the 
Berlin  ladies.     Of  the  Moorish  women,  it  may  be  said  that  fire  is  the 

AFRICAN    BELLES.  23.'5 

circulating  fluid.  It  is  particularly  active  in  their  eyes,  which  nature 
seems  to  have  formed  between  a  material  and  spiritual  substance,  the 
light  in  which  the  soul  is  seen  to  shine.  The  African  belles  move 
those  sensitive  orbs  with  inimitable  art  ;  and,  as  seen  through  the 
envious  veil  which  covers  them,  they  have  been  compared  to  the  sun's 
rays,  obscured  by  a  passing  cloud. 

As  to  figure  and  person,  the  Moors  do  not  regard  it  so  much  as 
we  do,  or  more  properly  speaking,  their  ideas  of  beauty  and  ours  are 
materially  difl^erent.  So  far  from  bracing  up  with  stays  and  lacings  to 
produce  slenderiiess  and  grace,  they  are  anxious  to  give  full  develope- 
ment  both  to  the  limbs  and  person  :  to  be  fat  and  corpulent,  is  the 
readiest  way  an  African  fair  can  take  to  obtain  conquests.  So  that 
amongst  the  Moors,  immensity  of  size  and  beauty  are  synonymous. 
Mind  and  sentiment  are  not  amongst  the  ingredients  of  love  in  Bar- 
bary  ;  nor  do  they  add  in  any  degree  to  the  value  of  a  wife  with  a  Moor. 
The  more  fatness,  the  greater  wealth  as  a  partner.  Women  are, 
in  fact,  esteemed  by  their  weight.  It  is  on  this  account  that  infinite 
pains  are  taken  to  fatten  up  Moorish  ladies:  enclosed  in  a  small 
room  they  are  fed  like  the  pigeons  and  doves  in  Italy  ;  one  part  of 
their  diet  consists  of  little  paste  balls,  which  are  dipped  in  oil  :  great 
quantities  of  these  are  swallowed,  and  washed  down  with  water, 
while  the  mother  is  constantly  in  attendance,  to  enforce  their  being- 
devoured  bon  gre  malgré  :  nor  is  the  bastinado  spared,  if  they  refuse 
the  nauseating  portion.  Thus,  a  young  woman  who  requires  a  camel 
to  carry  her,  is  considered  as  a  superior  beauty;  while  one  who  cannot 
walk  without  the  assistance  of  a  slave  on  each  side,  is  considered  to 
have  only  moderate  pretensions  to  that  title!  It  is  needless  to  add, 
that  some  of  our  Italian  ladies,  who  are  principally  composed  of 
skin  and  bone,  would  stand  a  poor  chance  in  Barbary  ;  while  to  the 
more  favoured  in  flesh  and  blood,  the  sturdy  Moors  would  smack  their 
lips,  and  repeat  malechi  esseri,  "  this  is  rich  !" 

A  fair  and  smooth  skin  is  also  considered  as  a  great  improve- 
ment to  an  African  beauty.     These  are  admirable  qualities  in  the  eyes 

H  H 


of  most  people  ;  but  more  particularly  so,  amongst  a  race,  whose 
love  is  purely  material.  Where  intellectual  attractions  are  disregarded, 
those  of  a  physical  nature  more  than  satisfy  their  absence. 

The  ladies  of  Barbary,  like  those  of  all  other  countries,  also  call 
in  the  aid  of  art,  to  embellish  their  natuml  beauty  :  it  is  true,  they 
have  no  rouge  ;  but  its  place  is  supplied  by  tattooing  various  figures, 
and  graceful  emblems,  on  the  neck,  bosom,  and  other  parts  of  the 
body  :  tlie  hair  and  nails  are  also  coloured  with  the  juice  of  an  herb 
called  zenna,  which  gives  a  saffron  hue  to  them  :  the  eyes  too,  are 
encircled  with  several  lines  ;  which,  though  it  gives  somewhat  of  a 
harsher  cast  to  the  countenance,  adds  wonderfully  to  the  piercing 
expression  of  the  eye.  If  the  painful  operation  of  tattooing  occasions 
temporary  inconvenience  and  pain,  the  ornainental  part  remains  :  and 
it  has  the  additional  advantage  of  saving  the  ladies  a  great  deal  of 
trouble,  experienced  by  the  European  belles  ;  particularly  that  of 
being  obliged  to  deposit  their  "  borrowed  graces"  every  night,  before 
retiring  to  bed  :  and  one  cannot  address  them,  as  a  gentleman  once 
did  a  lady,  who  used  frequently  to  appear  with  a  different  cosmetic  : 
•'•  I  am  always  discovering  some  new  beauty  in  you,  madam  !" 

Unfortunately,  all  those  painful  precautions  are  not  destined  to 
be  compensated  by  public  applause  ;  but  are  exclusively  confined  to 
the  melancholy  precincts  of  the  harem.  When  a  female  walks  out, 
she  is  so  oppressed  and  covered  with  drapery,  that  it  is  quite  impos- 
sible to  distinguish  any  part  of  her  face  or  figure  :  it  is  only  when 
she  goes  to  the  bath,  or  takes  the  air  on  her  terrace,  that  the  Alrican 
fair  is  decked  out  in  all  the  splendor  of  beauty,  and  pomp  of  dress. 
The  latter  amusement  is,  however,  extremely  solitary,  as  they  are 
rarely  seen,  except  by  some  female  neighbour  whom  they  happen 
to  visit,  or  that  calls  on  them  to  pass  an  occasional  hour.  Moving  in 
a  very  limited  circle,  with  pleasures,  which  are  merely  of  a  sensual 
nature,  vanity  could  alone  induce  a  Moorish  lady  to  be  assiduous 
in  decorating  her  person  :  and  the  rarity  of  what  she  possesses  in 
the  way    of  ornament,  is  her   only    recompense    for   the   miserable 


uniformity  of  her  days.  To  the  foregoing  causes,  may  be  added, 
that  of  the  pleasure  which  most  women  derive  from  eclipsing  a 
successful  rival,  whether  in  dress  or  gallantry.  A  lady,  who  seemed 
to  bestow  particular  attention  to  the  embellishment  of  her  person,  and 
splendor  of  her  equipage,  being  asked  if  she  meditated  a  new  con- 
quest, or  wished  to  fascinate  some  happy  mortal  ;  replied,  "  these 
decorations  of  my  person,  and  studied  elegance  of  living,  are  not 
intended  to  please  the  men,  but  to  mortity  the  women  !" 

Of  all  human  beings,  none  are  more  entitled  to  commiseration 
than  the  ill-fated  women  of  Barbary.  Shut  up,  confined  in  all  their 
movements,  and  strictly  observed,  they  have  the  additional  mortifica- 
tion of  being  regarded  with  contempt  by  their  inexorable  masters.  A 
constant  prey  to  jealousy,  envy,  and  all  the  bitter  pangs  of  humiliated 
self-love  and  despised  lieauty,  they  are  generally  obliged  to  divide  the 
atFections  of  their  husbands  with  more  successful  rivals.  To  these 
evils  may  he  added,  that  of  being  dependent  for  happiness  on  the 
caprice,  morose  temper,  and  untractable  disposition  of  men  ;  who, 
according  to  their  idiom,  do  not  like  ladies  possessed  of  the  right 
hand,  meaning  prudent  wives  and  agreeable  companions  ;  but  would 
infinitely  rather  find  them  trembling  slaves.  Extremely  inimical  to 
an  increase  of  family,  the  Moorish  husband  acts  like  a  real  pirate  in 
the  conjugal  bed,  deva.stating  the  field  of  pleasure,  instead  of  enrich- 
ing it  by  a  smiling  offspring. 

Becoming  wives,  the  females  of  Barbary  are  at  once  excluded 
from  all  the  rights  and  privileges  of  the  opposite  sex,  and  pleasures 
of  society.  None  are  allowed  to  eat  at  the  same  table  with  their  hus- 
bands; while  those  of  the  lower  classes,  attend  as  servants  at  their 
meals,  }>resent  them  Avith  water  to  wash,  and  kiss  their  feet  with  as 
much  respect  as  we  do  the  hand.  There  is  not,  in  fact,  a  single 
law,  or  accommodating  usage,  established  in  this  country  for  the 
female's  happiness  or  protection.  When  obliged  to  sue  for  redress 
before  the  Cadi,  a  wife  can  very  seldom  obtain  the  smallest  .satisfac- 
tion, no  matter  how  great  her  wrongs.     If  permitted  to  separate  from 

H  H  2 


her  persecutor,  she  loses  her  dowry  :  recurring  to  her  parents  for 
assistance  and  support,  these  have  either  no  power  to  act,  or  decline 
entering  into  the  dispute,  frequently  sending  the  poor  complainant 
back  with  disdain.  A  woman  thus  situated,  once  went  to  hei  father's 
to  complain  that  she  had  received  a  blow  on  the  cheek  from  her  hus- 
band ;  the  latter  no  sooner  heard  the  story,  than  he  gave  her  one  on 
the  other  side,  saying, — "  You  will  inform  your  husband,  that  having 
struck  my  daughter,  I  have  struck  his  wife  ;  and  so  now  we  are  quits." 

The  Musselmen  credibly  believe,  that  God  has  only  created 
women  for  the  mere  purposes  of  sensual  enjoyment,  to  contribute  to 
the  pleasures  of  the  stronger  sex,  and  perpetuate  the  liuman  race. 
This  idea,  extravagant  as  it  is,  they  have  also  contrived  to  make  the 
females  believe.  By  this  barbarous  doctrine,  which  only  tends  to  give  a 
little  importance  to  women,  while  they  can  minister  to  the  gratification 
of  their  lords  and  masters,  when  personal  charms  cease,  they  are  con- 
signed to  unutterable  contempt.  Amongst  the  other  fatiguing  occupa- 
tions reserved  for  females  in  this  deplorable  state,  they  are  employed 
to  fetch  water  troni  distant  wells,  strike  and  pitch  the  tents.  They 
also  load  the  camels,  while  their  husbands  form  a  circle  on  the  sand, 
and  remain  conversing  upon  indifferent  subjects,  or  smoking  their 
pipes.  Often  when  on  a  journey,  the  women  are  obliged  to  walk  ; 
while  the  men  quietly  retain  their  seat  on  the  camel,  frequently 
flogging  them  if  they  do  not  keep  up  with  the  animal.  Nature,  too, 
seems  to  unite  with  the  harsh  customs  and  atrocious  legislation  of 
Barbary,  in  rendering  the  women  still  more  unhappy.  In  these 
warm  climates,  beauty  may  be  compared  to  early  flowers,  which  soon 
blow  and  as  quickly  fade. 

The  circumstance  of  marrying,  and  bearing  children  at  so  tender 
an  age,  the  coldness  and  neglect  o?  their  husbands,  the  little  care 
taken  by  themselves  to  preserve  their  grace  and  beauty,  immoderate 
use  of  hot  baths  ;  and,  above  all,  the  monotonous  and  sedentary  life 
of  the  harem,  with  the  ennui  consequent  on  so  much  solitude, 
bring  on  premature  old  age  so  very  soon,  that  at  twenty-five,,  they 


generally  look  to  be  forty.  Nothing  but  ruin  is  shewn  in  their  coun- 
tenances ;  and  one  cannot  say,  on  voit  que  l'amour  a  passe  par  Id  t 
It  is  not  enough  for  the  Moorish  women  to  be  thus  wretched  and 
persecuted,  but  it  must  be  continued  after  death  ;  when  the  joys  of 
Paradise  are  even  denied  them  ;  it  being  settled  that  they  areto  remain 
at  the  door  :  it  is  also  very  much  doubted,  whether  they  even  have  a 
soul.  It  is  true,  that  in  some  parts  of  Europe,  the  men  are  alone 
counted  as  possessing  this  attribute  ;  and  an  author  of  Ibe  middle 
ages  has  stated,  that  in  women  God  made  the  eyes,  cheeks,  lips, 
et  alia  quce  sunt  dulcia  et  amicabilia;  sed  de  capite  noluit  se  immis- 
ceri  ;  sed  permisset  illudfacere  diabulo  !  But  these  are  the  silly  rea- 
sonings of  distempered  imaginations:  if  any  one  were  seriously 
disposed  to  argue  the  point,  it  would  perhaps  be  in  his  power,  to 
prove  women  infinitely  superior  to  men  in  a  variety  of  respects,  wherein 
intellectual  talent  is  more  immediately  concerned.  An  unbiassed  phi- 
losopher, in  tracing  the  wonderful  progress  of  created  being,  from  the 
minutest  insect,  to  the  "  paragon  of  animals,"  might  prove  from  analooy 
and  fact,  that  lovely  woman  was  created  last,  at  once  to  govern  man, 
and  become  the  great  prototype  of  beauty.  Woman  is,  in  effect,  the 
smile  of  nature  :  supporting  the  two  extremes  of  life,  she  forms  the 
joy  and  haj^piness  of  its  intermediate  space.  An  eastern  poet  thus 
addressed  the  daughters  of  men  :  "  ye  are  the  graces  of  day,  and  the 
night  loves  ye  like  the  dew  which  it  sheds  on  flowers.  The  infant 
issues  from  your  side,  to  fix  on  your  lips  and  bosom.  Made  for  love, 
you  have  words  of  magic,  to  soothe  eveiy  sorrow  !" 

Although  love  has  no  share  in  forming  the  connubial  state,  or 
strengthening  the  more  tender  ties  of  matrimony  in  this  country,  yet 
strange  as  it  may  appear  to  an  European,  the  Moors  are  full  of  the 
most  cruel  jealousy  ;  which  is,  however,  perfectly  consonant  to  the 
rest  of  their  character.  It  sometimes  even  happens,  amongst  ourselves, 
that  there  is  a  possibility  of  being  jealous,  without  having  a  particle 
of  real  attachment  for  the  object  of  our  suspicion  :  this  h  far  from 
being  an  unusual  exertion  of  self-love.     Another  species  of  that  vile 


passion,  arises  from  want  of  confidence  in  the  beloved  object  :  when 
more  rationally  exerted,  it  extends  to  the  diffidence  which  real  merit 
is  apt  to  feel,  in  its  own  powers  of  pleasing.  But  that  of  Barbary, 
originates  in  characteristic  suspicion,  a  tyrannical  disposition,  an 
exclusive  desire  of  possessing  absolute  power  in  everything,  even  to  a 
blind  dependence  on  their  will  and  caprice  ;  all  of  which,  acting  simul- 
taneously on  the  Moorish  husband,  hurries  him  on  to  extravagance  and 
crimes,  in  gratifying  this  horrible  feeling.  It  is  related,  that  the 
governor  of  a  province,  being  obliged  to  march  against  a  neighbouring 
prince,  who  had  sworn  to  etfect  his  destruction,  retired  for  seven  days 
to  the  country,  remaining  all  that  time  with  the  women  of  his  harem, 
enjoying  all  the  pleasures  of  a  Musselman's  life.  Being  afterwards 
unable  to  sustain  the  dreadful  thought  of  leaving  them  behind, 
perhaps  to  fall  into  the  hands,  and  grace  the  triumph  of  his  ferocious 
rival,  he  caused  them  all  to  be  dispatched,  and  then  set  oifto  assume 
the  command  of  his  army.* 

Upon  another  occasion,  a  Bey  who  had  a  beautiful  woman  in  his 
harem,  of  whom  he  was  passionately  fond  ;  on  hearing  that  a  painter 
had  just  arrived,  wished  to  have  her  portrait  taken  :  for  this  purpose, 
he  ordered  the  artist  into  his  presence  ;  and  notifying  his  pleasure, 
promised  a  liberal  recompense  for  his  ti'onble.  The  painter  replied, 
that  he  felt  himself  highly  honoured  by  so  flattering  a  commission, 
and  would  do  every  thing  in  his  power  to  satisfy  his  excellency.  "  You 
may  go  to  work  then  with  all  possible  dispatch,"  said  the  Bey  ;  "  and 
when  the  picture  is  finished,  bring  it  to  me  without  loss  of  time." 
"  Your  highness  has  only  to  let  me  see  the  lady  whose  portrait  I  am 
to  have  the  honour  of  painting."  "  What!"  interrupted  the  enraged 
Mahometan,  "  do  you  suppose  I  will  let  you  see  my  wifel"     "  How 

*  It  is  related  of  a  jealous  husband,  that  once  finding  himself  alone  with  his  wife, 
in  a  room  where  there  was  a  large  looking-glass,  he  broke  it  to  pieces  with  the  cane  which 
he  held  in  his  hand  ;  alledging,  that  he  could  not  bear  the  thought  of  his  wife's  seeing 
herself  there  in  one  man's  company.  Another  addle-headed  dolt,  would  not  allow  hi:' 
wife  to  pronounce  the  name  of  any  animal  of  the  masculine  gender! 

JEALOUSY    OF    THE    MOORS.  239 

then,"  rejoined  the  painter,  "  am  I  to  represent  a  person  whom  I 
have  never  seen  V  "  Retire,"  exclaimed  the  iiey,  with  trembling  lips, 
and  eyes  flashing  fury.  "  If  I  cannot  have  her  portrait,  without 
exposing  her  to  your  eyes,  I  would  rather,  a  thousand  times,  forego 
the  pleasure  I  had  figured  to  myself  from  having  her  picture  drawn." 
It  was  in  vain  that  the  astonished  painter  endeavoured  to  reason  with 
his  highness  on  the  unreasonableness  of  his  proposition  ;  and  soon 
after  made  good  his  retreat  from  the  irritated  presence,  congratulat- 
ing himself  on  having  escaped  being  thrown  out  of  the  window. 

Innumerable  are  the  precautions  which  a  Moor  takes,  tolsecludehis 
women  from  the  sightof  other  people.  AVhenever  a  Christian  enters  one 
of  their  houses,  he  should  be  careful  not  to  proceed  too  far,  before  the 
master  calls  out  Tarik  !  meaning  to  give  place  ;  so  that  the  women 
may  have  time  to  get  out  of  tlie  way.  No  stranger,  and  it  is  very 
rare,  that  even  a  brother-in-law  is  permitted  to  see  a  manied  lady 
without  her  veil.  In  the  harem,  the  women  are  under  the  care  of  an 
old  female  superintendant,  styled  cadenhahiu,  or  some  of  that  unfor- 
tunate race  called  eunuchs;  who  in  addition  to  their  other  harmless 
qualities,  are  purposely  disfigured  in  their  features  to  prevent  the 
possibility  of  being  seen,  without  a  feeling  of  horror  by  tiie  ladies. 
When  visited  by  a  medical  man,  they  are  so  placed,  as  to  prevent  him 
from  seeing  their  figure  :  and,  previous  to  the  pulse  being  felt,  care  is 
taken  to  cover  the  hand  and  arm  with  a  thick  veil,  so  that  even  a  man's 
finger  shall  not  touch  the  delicate  skin  of  a  Moorish  female.  While 
walking  on  the  terraces,  all  the  males  are  warned  not  to  extend  their 
profane  regards  over  the  forbidden  fair.  It  is  also,  on  this  account, 
that  the  Moors  are  said  to  employ  blind  men  on  the  minarets,  to  call 
the  faithful,  when  the  hour  of  prayer  at  the  mosques  is  announced. 

The  Moor's  vengeance  arising  from  jealousy,  is  generally  of  the 
most  terrible  description.  If  any  intrigue  or  correspondence  is  dis- 
covered between  a  3Iahonietan  female  and  a  Christian,  he  is  inevitably 
condemned  to  lose  his  head;  and  the  woman,  after  receiving  a  hun- 
dred blows  of  the  bastinado  on  her  stomach,  is  enclosed  in  a  sack  and 


thrown  into  the  sea  :  should  the  gallant  be  a  Moor,  the  offended  hus- 
band has  the  privilege  of  killing  him,  and  then  his  wife.  It  is  not 
long  since  a  case  of  the  greatest  horror  and  atrocity  in  this  way, 
occurred  at  Tunis.  The  daughter  of  a  Doletro,  having  conceived  the 
strongest  attachment  for  a  young  Moor,  was  prevented  from  marrying 
him,  on  account  of  her  father's  preferring  one  of  the  Bey's  secretaries  :  the 
young  lady,  who  was  one  of  the  most  beautiful  women  in  the  regency, 
continued,  notwithstanding,  to  keep  up  rather  too  free  an  intercourse 
with  her  lover,  who,  by  means  of  a  cord  let  down  into  the  street,  was 
occasionally  enabled  to  introduce  himself  into  her  apartment  :  unfor- 
tunately, one  night  when  he  had  nearly  readied  the  window,  the  line 
broke;  and  he  received  such  a  contusion  from  the  fall,  as  rendered  it  im- 
possible for  him  to  move  from  the  spot.  The  secretary,  who  happened 
to  be  returning  rather  later  than  usual  from  El  Bardo  that  night,  dis- 
covered the  ill-fated  lover,  who  was  even  weak  enough  to  confess  his 
crime.  The  former  having  communicated  the  whole  circumstance 
to  his  master,  asked  M'hat  revenge  he  f^^hould  take  to  appease  his 
wounded  honour.  The  Bey  replied,  that  he  conceived  the  gallant 
had  already  suffered  enough  from  his  fall,  which  would  most  probably 
end  in  death  ;  but  as  to  the  lady,  the  injured  husband  was  at  liberty 
to  dis]>ose  of  her  as  he  thought  proper.  The  secretary  then  proceeded 
to  the  house  of  his  father-in-law,  and  related  the  whole  story  of  his 
wife's  intidelity.  On  this,  both  parties  returned  to  his  own  house, 
and  calling  the  distracted  female  into  her  dressing-room,  they  in- 
stantly applied  a  cord  to  her  neck,  by  which  she  was  in  a  few 
moments  strangled. 

To  so  great  a  length  is  the  feeling  of  jealousy  carried  amongst 
these  people,  that  you  cannot,  with  propriety,  ask  a  Moor  after  his 
wife's  health.  It  is  easy  to  conceive  that  such  men  are  not  likely  to 
contribute  much  to  the  happiness  of  their  companions  in  wedlock  ; 
nor  can  it  be  wondered  at,  if  the  husband's  cruel  treatment  and  total 
want  of  confidence,  often  gives  rise  to  a  spirit  of  hatred  and  desire  of 
revenge  on  the  part  of  his  wife. 


The  wretched  life  led  by  the  females  in  Barbary,  creates  a  feeling 
of  melancholy,  which  is  said  to  make  them  very  accessible,  and  even 
prone  to  the  tender  passion.  The  great  master  of  the  art  of  love, 
advises  us  to  beware  of  mentioning  this  subject  to  a  woman  while  she 
is  viewing,  with  anxious  eyes,  a  horse  or  chariot  race  ; — but  love  as 
frequently  springs  from  pity.  It  need  not  therefore  be  wondered  at, 
if  the  3Ioorish  ladies  are  occasionally  relieved  by  the  officious  zeal  of 
some  kind  matron  of  Ephesus.  It  is  in  vain,  that  the  husband 
endeavours  to  amuse  his  dejected  slaves  by  taking  them  into  the 
country,  calling  in  the  aid  of  music,  and  other  recreations  :  these  pro- 
duce a  very  trifling  effect  in  cheering  up  the  otherwise  cold  uniformity 
of  their  unhappy  days.  An  European  lady,  whose  partner  kept  her 
continually  in  the  country,  was  incessantly  recurring  to  the  pleasures 
of  the  city  and  all  its  fascinating  varieties.  "  How  can  you  possibly  be 
dull  V  asked  the  rural  philosophers  of  her  neighbourhood  :  "  here 
you  breathe  the  purest  air,  and  can  at  any  moment  cull  flowers  of 
every  hue,  or  walk  on  the  gentle  rising  grounds,  surrounded  by  num- 
berless innocent  pleasures."  To  all  this  the  lady  replied,  in  a  dissa- 
tisfied tone,  "  but  I  don't  like  innocent  pleasures  !" 

Notwithstanding  so  many  precautions,  the  winged  cherub  fre- 
quently contrives  to  scale  the  triple  walls  of  the  harem,  where 
selfishness,  pride,  and  jealousy,  have  confined  the  empire  of  beauty  ; 
and  in  Barbary,  an  intrigue  commences  where  those  of  Europe  gene- 
rally end.  The  Christian  slaves  are  looked  upon  with  so  much  con- 
tempt, that  they  are  considered  rather  as  domestic  animals  than 
otherwise,  and  on  this  account  never  want  for  opportunities  of  seeing 
their  masters'  wives,— so  that  almost  every  slave  has  his  Moorish 
there  amie,  as  each  soldier  of  Italy  his  servant.*  As  there  is  usually 
one  in  particular  whom  the  master  honours  with  his  confidence  and 
esteem  above  the  rest,  the  ladies  of  the  harem  consider  themselves 

*  The  Kalian  soldier's  wife  or  ammunition  partner,  is  generally  styled  la  sua  serva. 


bound  and  authorised  to  treat  him  with  a  much  greater  degree  of 
attention  and  indulgence. 

This  mode  of  justifying  their  preference,  reminds  me  of  the 
specious  and  whimsical  reasons  once  given  to  a  monarch  by  one  of 
his  favourites,  who  was  desirous  of  excusing  her  various  gallantries 
in  the  eyes  of  his  majesty. — "You."  said  he,  "  loved  the  Marechal 
de  *  *  *." — "  Ah,  Sire,"  she  answered,  "he  had  acquired  such 
glory  !"  "  You  were  in  love  with  my  prime  minister,"  continued  the 
king; — "  He  had  so  much  power,  Sire  !"  "  That,  was  also  a  tine  in- 
trigue between  you  and  the  young  officer." — "  Yes,  Sire  ;  but  then 
what  a  charming  figure,  and  how  well  lie  danced  !"  "  And  the 
secretary  of  the  academy  !" — "He  had  so  much  wit,  Sire;  and  said 
such  good  things!"  "  But  what  in  the  name  of  wonder  could  you 
see  in  the  chancellor,  with  his  awkward  figure  and  taciturn  cha- 
racter."—" Ah,  Sire,  he  was  so  warmly  attached  to  your  majesty!" 

It  sliould  also  be  observed,  that  the  construction  of  the  Moorish 
houses,  is  favourable  to  enterprizes  of  gallantry  and  love  :  what  with 
their  fiat  terraces  and  ladders  of  communication,  a  person  may  easily 
go  all  over  a  district  without  once  descending  into  the  street  ;  while 
he  who  enters  at  the  door  can  always,  in  the  event  of  being  sur- 
prised, escape  by  the  terrace. 

Night  has  ever  been  favourable  to  thieves  and  lovers.  In  Barbary 
the  latter  avail  themselves  of  that  propitious  season,  and  like  the  cats, 
are  scattered  about  the  roofs  for  the  purpose  of  gratifying  their  illicit 
amours.  It  often  occurs,  that  a  lady  is  permitted  to  go  and  visit  some 
female  friend  for  a  few  days  :  these  are  said  to  be  sometimes  very  pro- 
fitably employed  ;  and  if  the  husband  derives  additional  pleasure 
from  their  occasional  absence,  they  also  know  how  to  make  it  delight- 
ful to  themselves.  Besides,  if  a  woman  declares  herself  pregnant,  and 
expresses  a  desire  to  go  any  where,  she  is  never  prevented,  there  being 
the  most  scrupulous  attention  paid  to  all  the  wants  and  wishes  of 
Mahometan  women  in  this  delicate  state.  It  was  said  of  a  lady,  some 
years  separated  from   her   husband,    and  who  seemed   desirous    of 


rejoining  him,  that  her's  was  tlie  wish  of  a  pregnant  woman.  Ill- 
nature  might  insinuate,  that  the  little  excursions  made  by  the  Moorish 
ladies  on  such  occasions,  would  bear  an  inverse  construction  to  the 
above.  But  I  do  not  pretend  to  go  so  deeply  into  the  scandalous 
chronicle  of  Barbary.  It  was  asked  of  Mademoiselle  Lanoi,  while 
employed  in  writing  lier  Memoirs,  how  she  would  represent  herself, 
when  arrived  at  tliat  part  which  related  to  certain  little  adventures  of 
gallantry;  she  answered,  "  in  a  bust:'' — so  it  ought  to  be  with  a 
correct  and  cautious  painter  of  manners.  AVhen  we  speak  of  women, 
says  Diderot,  our  pen  should  be  dipped  in  the  colours  of  the  rainbow, 
and  the  lines  sprinkled  with  golden  powder  taken  from  the  wings  of 
the  gentle  butterfly  ! 

Truth  and  justice,  therefore,  require  me  to  express  my  firm 
belief,  that  the  ladies  of  Algiers  seldom  take  advantage  of  the  few 
solitary  privileges  accorded  to  them  by  long  established  custom, 
rather  than  the  generosity  of  their  husbands.  Most  of  those  who  go 
out  for  a  short  time,  have  no  other  object  in  view,  than  that  of 
passing  a  few  days  with  friends  or  relatives.  It  would  tend  to  dimi- 
nish that  sympathy  which  I  am  so  desirous  of  awakening  towards 
the  persecuted  fair  of  Africa,  were  I  to  omit  bearing  ample  testimony 
to  the  astonishing  patience  and  resignation  evinced  by  them,  in  sup- 
porting all  their  accumulated  wrongs.  Perfectly  reconciled  to  their 
solitude,  they  would  be  offended  if  a  husband  exposed  them  to  the 
regards  of  a  stranger,  and  even  doubt  whether  they  had  not  ceased  to 
be  estimable  in  his  eyes,  when  not  enclosed  within  the  walls  of 
his  harem.  Those  who  have  had  greater  facilities  of  observation,  say, 
that  nothing  can  exceed  the  amiable  tenderness  and  heartfelt  gratitude 
shewn  by  the  Moorish  women,  towards  the  only  object  of  their  sight 
and  affections  ;  the  smallest  act  of  kindness  being  enough  to  fill 
them  with  happiness.  If  the  husband  sends  to  say  he  wishes  to  dine 
with  or  visit  his  wife,  she  immediately  puts  on  her  richest  dress  and 
most  costly  ornaments, — causes  the  apartment  to  be  perfumed, — pre- 
pares the  choicest  viands,    and   receives  her  lord  with  a  degree  of 

II  2 


dignified  respect  and  affectionate  gallantry,  which  would  not  disgrace 
the  matrons  of  Europe.  Strangers  to  the  idle  frivolities  of  the  world, 
all  their  tenderness  is  concentrated  in  their  children.  Nothing  is 
more  pleasing  than  a  mother's  fondness,  or  so  calculated  to  inspire 
veneration  and  respect,  as  the  lisping  emblem  of  innocence  which 
hangs  upon  her  bosom!  Such  a  gratifying  sight  repels  the  greatest 
libertine,  and  the  most  abandoned  will  not  attempt  to  corrode  its 
happiness.  The  women  of  Barbary,  strangers  to  the  gaze  of  vulgar 
eyes,  reserve  all  their  secret  charms  for  the  happy  being  who  is  des- 
tined to  possess  the  unpolluted  treasure.  Concealed  by  a  thorny 
hedge-row,  the  violet  is  unseen  ;  but  the  fragrant  odour  discovers  its 
modest  beauty. 



State  of  Agriculture  in  Algiers. — Imperfect  Mode  of  Ploughing. —  Wine. — 
Butter. — Oil. — Olive  Trees. — Method  of  enriching  the  Land. — Different^ 
Trades  and  Manufactures. — Otto  of  Roses. — Commerce. — Exports  and 
Imports. — Traffic  with  the  Interior  of  Africa. — Method  of  Dealing. — 
Circulating  Medium. — Clipping. — Letters  and  Sciences. — Arab  Writers. 
— Hints  on  Civilization. — Anecdote  —  The  Pen.— The  Alfagui. — Their 
Pedantry. —  The  Thibibs.  —Medical  Treatment  in  Barbary. — Anecdotes,  ófc. 

The  statistics  of  Barbary  furnish  very  little  matter  to  excite  the 
enquiry,  or  gratify  the  curiosity  of  European  travellers  :  with  the  finest 
soil  on  earth,  it  is  impossible  for  any  country  to  be  more  neglected. 
Where  three-fourths  of  the  ground  is  uncultivated,  it  is  scarcely  neces- 
sary to  add,  that  agriculture  is  at  the  very  lowest  state  of  rudeness  and 
degradation.  In  ploughing,  the  share  is  hardly  perceived  to  leave 
any  trace  behind  :  meadow  and  pasture  land  is,  however,  tolerably  well 
watered  ;  but  the  people  of  this  country  are  by  no  means  well  versed 
in  the  breeding  and  taking  care  of  their  flocks  or  horned  cattle.  The 
gardens  are  well  stocked  with  fruit  trees,  though  neither  taste  nor  sym- 
metry is  observed  in  the  planting.*  Notwithstanding  the  great 
quantity  of  olive  oil  made  in  the  Algerine  territory,  it  is  generally  of 
a  bad  quality,  entirely  owing  to  their  total  ignorance  of  preparing  it 
in  a  better  manner:  the  tree  too,  is  suiFered  to  grow  without  being  regu- 

*  Although  there  is  infinite  room  for  improvement  in  the  gardens  of  Barbary,  I  trust 
that  should  it  ever  be  colonized  from  Europe,  the  false  taste  which  still  continues  to  per- 
vade those  of  France  and  Italy  will  not  be  introduced:  and  in  this  hope  I  have  every 
reason  to  believe,  the  author  will  most  heartily  join  his  wishes  to  mine. — Ed. 


laily  pruned,  which  is  another  great  source  of  injury  to  the  olive.* 
The  wine,  which  is  made  by  Christian  slaves,  is  quite  as  good  as  that 
of  Roses  in  Spain  :  but  it  loses  a  great  deal  of  its  flavour,  after  a  visit 
from  the  locusts.  Butter  is  made  by  putting  the  milk  into  a  goat's 
skin,  which  being  hung  up,  is  beaten  with  sticks  on  each  side,  until 
fit  to  be  worked  by  the  hand  :  it  is  by  this  filthy  process  not  only 
badly  tasted,  but  always  full  of  hairs.  Corn  is  ground  in  mills,  which 
are  turned  by  three  camels.  Unacquainted  with  the  art  of  enrich- 
ing land,  they  merely  set  fire  to  the  stubble  or  other  weeds  :  on  these 
occasions,  great  mischief  arises  from  the  flames  often  extending  far 
beyond  what  is  required  :  it  also  creates  a  dreadful  heat  in  the  atmo- 
sphere, and  frequently  runs  along  with  such  rapidity,  that  men  and 
animals  have  scarcely  time  to  evade  the  fiery  torrent  :  these  fires  some- 
times last  for  nearly  two  months,  during  which,  they  give  an  appear- 
ance of  awful  suljlimity  to  the  heavens. 

The  trades  most  esteemed  in  Algiers,  are  those  of  the  shoemaker, 
drue:e:ist,  jeweller,  and,  above  all,  the  cnp  manufacturer  :  of  the  latter 
article,  prodigious  quantities  are  made  and  exported  to  all  tlie  ports 
of  the  Levant.  Each  craft  has  its  chief  or  head,  called  Aiiiin;  who 
decides  all  the  little  disputes  which  may  arise  within  his  particular 
department  :  this  mode  of  dividing  the  trades  is  very  similar  to  that 
formerly  adopted  in  Florence.  Metals  are  often  worked  without  the 
aid  of  fire,  which  gives  great  solidity  to  many  of  their  utensils.  There 
are  also,  in  the  interior,  several  potteries  and  manufactures  of  hard- 
ware. The  wool  of  Barbary,  and  more  particularly  that  of  Algiers, 
is  admirably  calculated  for  receiving  dyes  of  every  hue  :  the  bright 
silks  of  this  regency  are  also  highly  esteemed  all  over  Barbary,  for 
making  the  scarfs  usually  worn  by  females.  The  tanning,  and  prepa- 
ration of  hides  and  other  skins,  is  very  well  understood  by  the  Moors; 
and  the  Morocco  leather,  by  which  all  coloured  skins  are  called  in 
Barbary,  is  made  to  great  perfection  in  Algiers  :  they  also  make  very 

«=  For  ail  account  of  the  curious  process  of  making  olive  oil,  see's  Morocco, 
partii,  p.  22I.-AV/. 

TRADE.  247 

fine  carpets,  called  hiram  ;  but  they  mostly  pride  themselves  in  the 
manafactory  of  Scialli  shawls  ;  which,  considering  their  quality,  are 
sold  at  a  much  cheaper  rate  than  those  of  the  Levant.  Baskets,  and 
various  other  convenient  ornaments,  are  formed  out  of  the  palm  tree 
leaf,  many  of  which  look  as  fine  as  silk,  and  nothing'  can  exceed  the 
beauty  of  their  mats  made  of  the  fine  rushes  of  Labez. 

But  of  all  African  manufactures,  that  of  its  otto  of  roses,  is  by 
far  the  most  celebrated  :  this  exquisite  flower  yields  double  the  quan- 
tity of  essence  in  Barbary,  to  what  it  does  in  Europe  ;  the  finest 
and  most  precious,  called  nessari,  is  distilled  from  the  white  rose.  It 
is  strange,  that  with  their  present  inqjerfect  knowledge  of  chemistry, 
the  Moors  sliouhl  be  so  mu<'h  better  versed  in  the  distillation  of 
this  flower  than  Europeans  :  to  their  remarkable  talent  in  this  way, 
may  be  added,  uncommon  patience  and  attention  towards  bringing 
the  essence  to  perfection.  Seeing-  the  old  Moors,  with  their  venerable 
beards  and  flowing  mantles,  silting  in  solemn  silence,  and  gravely 
holding  the  balance,  into  which  they  pour  the  otto  with  infallible 
exactness;  I  often  figured  to  myself,  Time  dispensing  pleasure  in 
drops,  and  scrupulously  weighing  all  the  enjoyments  of  life. 

The  present  limited  trade  of  Algiers  is  chiefly  conducted  by  Jews. 
Grain  is  generally  sold  at  very  low  prices,  though  none  can  be 
exported  without  a  tischera,  or  written  permit,  bearing  the  Dey'sseal. 
A  similar  licence  is  necessary  before  any  oil,  of  which  such  large 
quantities  are  made,  can  be  shipped  :  this  article  is  principally  sent 
to  Ottoman  ports  ;  more  especially  Bosetta  and  Damietta  in  Egypt. 
It  is  also  necessary  to  obtain  a  permit  before  cattle,  sheep,  and  goats 
can  be  embarked  ;  and  fowls  must  be  killed  previous  to  leaving  the  shore. 

The  chief  articles  supplied  by  Algiers  to  foreign  countries,  con- 
sist of  coarse  linens,  cotton,  raisins,  dried  figs,  honey,  wax,  dates, 
biocades,  taflety,  muslin,  tobacco,  sugar  and  coflTee  :  the  two  latter, 
are  the  fruits  of  piracy  ;  ostrich  feathers,  otto  of  roses,  gold  dust, 
brought  by  the  caravans  ;  grain  and  cattle.  It  is  also  an  excellent 
place  to  make  purchases  in  shawls,  whether  of  home  or  foreign 

248  riiADK. 

There  is  a  consideiable  demand  in  tins  place  for  various  comuio- 
dities;  but  owing  to  the  many  duties,  uncertainty  of  payment,  diffi- 
culties thrown  in  the  way  of  exportation,  and  frequent  exactions  of  the 
Deyand  his  officers,  fewspeculators  are  encouraged  to  visit  the  Regency. 
Foreign  wines  pay  an  excessive  impost  :  fine  gunpowder  and  flints 
sell  remarkably  well,  the  latter  being  generally  very  scarce;  and 
the  powder  made  in  the  country  is  found  much  too  weak  for  small 
anns.  Deals,  prepared  ship  timber,  wrought  iron,  cannon,  fire-arms, 
and  naval  stores  of  every  kind,  find  a  ready  sale  in  Algiers.  The 
coral  fishery,  which  is  chiefly  conducted  by  Sardinians  and  Corsicans, 
is  exchanged  in  large  quantities  for  gold  dust  ;  which  the  Algerine 
merchants  receive  from  Sansandang,  and  other  interior  kingdoms. 
One  of  the  most  lucrative  sources  of  traffic,  though  so  highly  di'^graceful 
to  European  merchants,  is  derived  from  the  sale  of  property  plundered 
by  the  corsairs:  many  of  these,  follow  in  the  pirates'  train,  as  the  jackall 
does  in  that  of  the  lion. 

South  of  the  Algerine  territory,  and  towards  the  Tunisian  fron- 
tier, there  is  a  particular  race,  called  the  Cadensi  or  Gademis,  who 
carry  on  a  constant  trade  with  the  interior  regions  of  Africa,  whence 
they  bring  gold  dust,  ostrich  feathers,  dates,  &c.  Their  returns  from 
Algiers  consist  of  Turkish  daggers,  small  looking-glasses,  beads, 
knives,  scissars,  tobacco,  and  great  quantities  of  salt,  which  is 
hiuhly  prized  in  most  parts  of  this  vast  continent.  The  extreme 
probity  observed  in  all  dealings  between  the  Gademis  and  African 
nations,  has  often  excited  the  admiration  of  travellers  :  the  Moorish 
merchant,  having  placed  what  he  has  for  sale  in  a  particular  spot, 
retires  :  the  negroe  dealer  then  advances,  and  if  disposed  to  purchase, 
lays  down  the  quantity  of  gold  dust,  or  other  material  he  is  inclined 
to  give  in  exchange  close  to  it  :  on  withdrawing  in  his  turn,  the  Moor 
goes  back,  and  if  he  finds  the  deposited  articles  equivalent  to  his  own, 
he  takes  them  away,  leaving  the  latter  :  on  the  other  hand,  should  the 
articles  left  be  unequal  to  his  wishes,  he  removes  the  goods  ;  when,  if 
after  a  little  time,  the  negroe's  offering  is  not  increased,  their  negocia- 
tion  terminates,  and  they  all  depart.     Whenever  their  contracts  are 

MONEY.  240 

mutually  satisfactory,  and  this  is  generally  the  case,  reciprocal 
demonstrations  of  friendship  take  place,  and  they  often  travel  in  com- 
pany with  each  other  for  several  days. 

There  is  not  much  money  to  be  seen  in  Algiers,  at  least,  the 
quantity  seldom  increases  from  credit  or  circulation  :  it  is  more 
frequently  diminished  by  hoarding  and  concealment  under  ground  ; 
the  result  of  that  uncertainty  and  violence,  peculiar  to  the  mandates 
of  an  arbitrary  government.  Naturally  economical,  the  3Ioors  are 
always  intent  on  accumulating  ;  they  know  also,  that  money  is  like 
time  :  they  who  do  not  squander  it  away,  are  seldom  without  a 
sufficient  supply. 

The  doubloon  and  dollar  of  Spain  are  the  first  in  circulation 
and  credit  at  Algiers  ;  guineas  lose  by  going  there  :  the  sultanas  of 
gold,  somewhat  smaller  than  a  sequin,  pass  for  two  dollars  :  the  other 
coins,  are  the  pataca  gorda,  or  current  dollar;  which  is  equal  to 
three  of  ours  in  Italy  :  the  pataca  cJdca,  an  ideal  money,  equivalent 
to  two  hundred  aspri.  The  smaller  coins  circulated  in  the  regency, 
are  called  mussona,  equal  to  about  four  soldi  of  Italy  :  marahuto,  of 
.still  less  value  ;  the  tornino,  which  fonns  an  eighth  part  of  the 
pataca  chica  ;  and  saime,  another  imaginary  standard,  equal  to  fifty 
aspri:  the  latter  is  of  silver,  but  so  exceedingly  diminutive,  that  it 
slips  from  the  hand  in  counting  :  two  or  three  hundred  being  necessary 
for  the  most  trifling  payment.  The  shop-keepers  have  plates  of  copper 
upon  which  they  spread  tlie  aspri,  to  render  the  counting  more  easy  ; 
but  this  is,  at  best,  a  most  annoying  and  tedious  operation,  which 
nothing  less  than  the  perseverance  of  a  Moor  could  get  over.  They 
are,  for  hours  together,  employed  in  counting  and  recounting  a 
sum  that  would  not  exceed  ten  pence  of  our  money  ;  but  what  could 
they  do,  if  deprived  of  this  interesting  occupation,  their  pipe,  and 
the  glorious  privilege  of  sitting  cross-legged  for  at  least  ten  hours 
during  the  day  l 

Money  changers  are  to  be  found  in  every  corner  of  the  city  :  they 
change  dollars  without  any  other  profit  than  that  of  occasionally 
throwing  in  a  few  spurious  aspri  ;  which,  fi-om  the  trouble  it  gives  to 

K    K 

250  MEN    OF    LETTERS. 

examine  them,  generally  escapes  detection.  Some  of  the  Moors  also 
contrive  to  amuse  themselves  in  clipping-  the  circulating  medium,  for 
which  they  are  very  rarely  punished  :  it  does  not  happen  to  them,  as 
to  the  culprit,  who  was  condemned  to  the  gallies  for  encroaching  rather 
too  closely  on  the  inscriptions  which  surrounded  his  sovereign's 
coinage  ;  and  being  interrogated  as  to  his  motives,  replied,  that  they 
originated  in  his  foiulness  for  the  belles  lettres  ! 

A  mere  handful  of  Turkish  adventurers  having  triumphed  over 
peaceful  nations,  and  violently  succeeded  in  establishing  the  atrocious 
governments  of  Algiers,  Tunis,  and  Tripoly,  the  clouds  of  ignorance 
and  barbarism  soon  involved  the  whole  extent  of  country  between 
Cape  Spartel  and  Alexandria;  obliterating,  as  it  were,  the  recollection 
of  its  civilization  under  the  kings  of  Numidia  and  3Iauritania.  Not  to 
mention  the  succeeding  lights  of  Arabic  learning,  which  illumined  this 
part  of  Africa  in  after  times;  at  present,  it  would  be  ditiicult  to  conceive, 
that  this  was  the  country,  in  which  the  celebrated  astronomer  Abu- 
viaser  tlonrished  ;  or  Giber,  one  of  the  fathers  of  alchymy  and  che- 
mical science  ;  Alf'arabe  al  Ascari,  who  first  applied  the  peripatetic 
philosophy  to  Islamism,  and  gave  rise  to  a  famous  school,  called  the 
Assareti,  so  famous  in  Spain  ;  or  the  equally  celebrated  orthodox 
<loctor,  Eseferez  Esachelli,  author  of  the  gi"eat  work  on  cosmography, 
entitled  Spatiatorum  Locum,  who,  in  order  the  better  to  pursue  his 
studies,  did  not  put  liis  eyes  out,  but  saw  that  there  was  no  chance  of 
philosophizing  in  a  court,  and  therefore  abandoned  that  of  Ruggiero, 
king  of  Sicily,  for  a  tranquil  retirement  on  the  coast  of  Africa  ;  Ibni 
al  Chat  il  Raisi,  the  most  eloquent  speaker,  and  best  poet  of  his  day; 
who,  while  at  Fez,  recited  a  poem,  containing  such  a  pathetic  detail 
of  the  sufferings  of  Abu  Habdilla,  king  of  Granada,  that  it  induced 
the  government  and  populace  to  espouse  his  cause,  and  restore  him  to 
his  throne  ;*  and  Isaac  ben  Erram,  that  told  his  master,  who  had 

*  The  iniquitous  and  ungrateful  Habdilla,  afterwards  became  the  enemy  of 
his  benefactor  ;  and  having  persuaded  the  king  of  Fez  to  give  him  up,  he  caused  the 
unhappy  man  to  be  cruelly  murdered. 


associated  him  to  another  medical  man,  with  whom  he  could  not 
agree  in  opinion,  that  the  diifering  of  two  doctors  Mas  worse  than  a 
qnartan  atfue!  We  no  longer  recognize  in  the  degenerate  Moor, 
those  gallant  chiefs  who  ornamented  the  splendid  courts  of  Granada 
and  Cordova,  and  enjoyed  the  luxuries  of  GeueruUf,  or  founded  the 
Alhambra  and  Zehra. 

Printing,  that  great  source  of  European  improvement,  has  not  as 
yet  been  introduced  into  Barbary  ;  arising  as  much  from  the  opposition 
of  the  respective  governments  to  a  farther  diffusion  of  knowledge,  as 
the  fear  of  depriving  numberless  copyists  of  occupation  and  bread. 
Thus  there  is  neither  a  free  communication  of  ideas,  or  the  smallest 
advance  towards  perfection.  The  men  of  letters,  who  are  called 
Alfugui  and  Talhi,  principally  consist  of  impostors  who  make  use  of 
the  few  talents  they  possess,  for  no  other  purpose  than  that  of  keeping 
the  populace  in  a  state  of  the  utmost  ignorance.  The  Imans  and 
Musselmen,  exclusively  devoted  to  the  study  of  the  Koran,  (a  book 
fxiU  of  absurdities,  mixed  with  a  few  poetic  flights,  and  overcharged 
by  its  inflexible  doctrine  of  fatalism,)  form  an  apparently  insurmount- 
able barrier  to  the  dissemination  of  knowledge  or  science  :  with  them 
it  is  even  a  crime  to  learn  the  Arabic,  or  receive  the  smallest  instruc- 
tion from  a  stranger.  Mahomet  has  been,  in  fact,  the  greatest  enemy 
human  reason  ever  encountered.  Men  who  were  full  of  his  ferocious 
spirit,  exclaimed,  that  God  would  punish  the  Caliph  Al  Mamon,  for 
having  introduced  the  sciences  into  his  states,  to  the  detriment  of  that 
holy  ignorance  recommended  by  the  prophet  to  all  true  believers; — 
and  that  if  any  person  dared  to  imitate  him,  he  ought  to  be  impaled, 
and  then  carrietl  through  the  tribes,  preceded  by  a  herald  who  was  to 
cry  with  a  loud  voice,  "  Behold,  the  recompense  of  that  impious  wretch 
who  shall  prefer  philosophy  to  tradition,  and  his  proud  reason  to  the 
precepts  of  the  divine  Koran  !" 

All  the  instruction  given  to  children,  consists  in  sending  the  boys 
to  school,  where  they  are  merely  taught  to  read  and  rejjeat  fifty  or 
sixty  aphorisms  from  the  Koran.     When  capable  of  this   gigantic 

KK   2 


effort  of  learning  and  science,  the  pupil's  education  is  complete  ;  and 
as  a  reward  for  his  diligence,  as  well  as  to  excite  emulation  in  others, 
he  is  paraded  round  the  city  on  horseback  ; — feasts  are  given  by  his 
parents  ; — he  becomes  the  envy  of  his  play  fellows  ; — and  the  peda- 
gogue retires  covered  with  glory  ! 

All  the  wit  of  these  people,  when  occupied  in  literary  subjects, 
consists  of  making  enigmas  and  charades  in  verse,  which  others  are 
obliged  to  solve  in  rhyme  :  some  of  these  occasionally  possess  a  little 
point  and  ingenuity,  but  neither  powerful  thought  or  noble  sentiment 
is  manifested.  The  exclusion  of  women  from  their  society  has  been 
justly  adduced  as  one  great  cause  of  that  total  absence  of  taste 
and  feeling  evinced  in  the  selfish  meetings  of  Musselmen  :  they 
abandon  themselves  to  the  impetuous  fire  of  imagination,  which  is 
always  irregular,  if  not,  like  the  electric  spark,  guided  by  its  con- 
ductor. The  language  of  slavery  is  generally  made  up  of  bombast; 
while  that  of  liberty  is  simple  and  energetic.  Although  not  entirely 
devoid  of  fancy,  there  is  at  present  no  very  distinguished  poet  in 
Barbary.  They  can  sing  of  ordinary  and  passing  events  ;  but  no  bril- 
liant thovights  proceed  from  the  heart.  The  Muses  are  not  fond  of 
chains  ;  nor  do  I  know  of  any  fine  poetic  composition  w  Inch  has 
sprung  from  the  degraded  leisure  of  servitude. 

It  cannot,  however,  be  doubted,  that  by  a  rational  mode  of  public 
instruction,  the  inhabitants  of  northern  Africa  might  shortly  become 
an  enlightened  and  illusti-ious  people,  as  their  ancestors  were  in 
better  days.  Alkindi,  a  philosopher,  who  lived  during  the  Caliph 
Almosatem's  reign,  once  showed  to  an  interpreter  of  the  laws 
that  stigmatised  his  fame,  the  difference  which  exists  between 
ignorant  superstition  and  illuminated  philosophy.  Though  he 
might,  from  his  influence  and  favour  at  the  court  of  Bagdad,  have 
easily  ruined  his  enemy,  he  preferred  the  more  generous  mode  of 
converting  the  asperser  into  a  friend  ;  for  this  purpose  he  observed, 
"  Your  religion  commands  you  to  calumniate  me,  while  mine  incul- 
cates the  necessity  of  endeavouring  to  make  you  a  better  man  and 


more  valuable  member  of  society:  come,  therefore,  that  I  may  instruct 
you  ;  after  whicli,  if  in  the  same  temper  of  mind,  you  are  at  liljerty 
to  destroy  me."  What  does  the  reader  imagine  the  sage  of  Basra 
taught  his  new  disciple  ?  Geometry  :  that  alone  was  sufficient  totally 
to  change  his  barbarous  sentiments,  into  others  of  gratitude  and 
friendship.  Such,  too,  as  observed  by  a  great  writer,  is  the  manner 
in  which  all  superstitious  and  uncivilized  nations  should  be  converted. 
By  causing  mathematicians  and  men  of  science  to  precede  the  missionary, 
a  rude  peojile  are  taught  to  combine  simple  and  natural  ideas,  before 
they  are  called  upon  to  comprehend  the  most  abstruse  of  all  subjects, 
the  attributes  and  power  of  the  Divinity.  Reflecting  on  the  present 
mode  of  conversion,  which  is,  no  doubt,  encouraged  from  the  purest 
motives  of  philanthrojjy,  it  is  as  if  we  could  expeci  children  to  read, 
without  first  teaching  them  the  alphabet.  It  cannot  be  expected,  that 
modes  of  improvement,  which  are  rejected  by  more  enlightened  nations, 
should  enter  into  the  contemplation  of  the  most  terrible  of  all  other 
sectaries,  the  followers  of  Mahomet  :  they  find  it  more  consonant  to 
their  barbarous  policy  to  cover  the  horse's  eyes,  who  is  condemned  to 
grind  the  corn;  and,  strange  to  reflect,  the  people  thus  led,  are 
apparently  contented  and  slavishly  sui)missive.  This  indifference  to  be 
instructed,  is,  however,  a  singular  paradox  :  where  all  those  who  happen 
to  acquire  a  greater  degree  of  wisdom  than  their  more  illiterate  neigh- 
bours, arrive  at  the  highest  dignities  ;  and  the  really  learned,  almost 
pass  for  saints:  an  honour  which  is  very  far  from  being  accorded  to  the 
European  philosopher,  or  man  of  letters.* 

*  It  is,  indeed,  "  a  consummation  most  devoutly  to  be  wished,"  that  the  momentous 
subject  thus  slightly  alluded  to,  may  continue  to  occupy  the  attention  of  all  civilized 
nations,  until  the  grand  desideratum  of  finding  out  a  less  erroneous  and  more  effectual 
mode  of  bringing  man  back  to  the  dignity  of  his  nature,  is  discovered.  Having  for  many 
years  deeply  reflected  on  ihe  paramount  importance  of  this  object,  and  felt  the  full  force 
of  that  obligation  imposed  on  us  all  by  religion,  reason,  and  humanity,  to  rescue  the  whole 
of  God's  creation  from  barbarism,  I  cannot  be  persuaded  to  believe,  that  we  are  not  still 
in  our  infancy,  as  far  as  relates  to  the  great  work  of  civilizing  unknown  regions.    Much 

254  THE    PEN. 

All  those  who  have  conceived  an  adequate  idea  of  the  power  of 
a  pen,  when  properly  managed,  need  not  be  surprised  at  its  eftects 
being  so  dreaded  by  the  despots  of  Barbary.  Strong  as  the  club  of 
Hercules,  and  sharp  as  the  scimitar  of  Scanderbeg,  a  man  of 
genius,  with  a  pen  in  his  hand,  moves  in  a  sphere  of  his  own  crea- 
tion :  shut  np  in  his  study,  he  menaces,  fulminates,  thunders,  and 
comman<ls  destiny  itself:  it  is  he  who  immortalizes  the  actions  of 
heroes,  and  unveils  the  most  important  truths.  The  j>en  is  also 
employed  to  defend  injured  innocence,  and  oppressed  virtue  :  it  inspires 

as  England  may  take  credit  to  herself  for  having  during  the  last  fifty  years  led  the  way  in 
promoting  discovery,  few  who  consider  the  magnitude  of  the  object  to  be  accomplished, 
can  deny,  that,  independent  of  those  incessant  political  struggles  which  have  withdrawn 
the  attention  of  government  from  such  pursuits;  nearly  all  our  expeditions  have  been  con- 
ducted on  a  scale,  which,  though  liberal  in  itself,  was  very  far  from  being  adequate  to  all 
the  objects  in  view.  I  am,  indeed,  fully  aware  of  the  innumerable  difiBculties  which 
oppose  the  progress  of  new  discoveries,  and  of  the  still  more  disheartening  task  of  reducing 
savage  nations  to  a  state  of  civilization.  But  will  any  one  contend  that  the  efforts  hitherto 
employed  by  the  European  powers  have  increased,  as  they  most  unqueslionably  should,  in 
proportion  to  these  obstacles?  Since  the  voyages  of  Captain  Cook,  the  last  of  which 
terminated  in  1780,  a  period  of  thirty-eight  years  has  been  suffered  to  elapse  without  our 
undertaking  any  thing  in  the  way  of  exploring,  worthy  of  so  great  a  nation.  Yet  a  much 
smaller  sum  of  money,  and  an  infinitely  less  number  of  human  lives,  than  foreign  wars 
have  cost  us,  would  probably  have  enabled  Great  Britain  alone,  to  have  sown  the  seeds  of 
civilization  and  Christianity  all  over  the  habitable  globe!  !  !  Into  what  a  labyrinth  of  thought 
is  not  this  reflection  calculated  to  plunge  the  most  frigid  reasoner  ?  When  the  tremendous 
magnitude  of  this  object  is  considered,  with  what  extreme  pity  must  not  a  philosophic 
mind  regard  the  occasional  puny  efforts  of  different  governments,  in  sending  off  one  or  two 
vessels,  intended  to  communicate  knowledge  and  happiness  to  tens  of  millions,  while  a 
military  adventurer,  like  Buonaparte,  could  by  a  senatus  consultum,  call  out  six  hundred 
thousand  human  beings,  and  arm  them  for  the  purpose  of  destroying  and  plundering  the 
species!  Heaven  knows,  the  spirit  of  discord  and  malevolence  has  been  long  enough  suf- 
fered to  devastate  Europe  and  America.  When  banished  from  the  last  named  country,  it  is 
sincerely  to  be  hoped,  that  we  shall  no  longer  slumber  over  the  great  duties  which  it  is  so 
completely  in  our  power  to  perform,  with  respect  to  the  uncivilized  part  of  the  universe. 
It  only  requires  a  simultaneous  movement  of  all  the  European  sovereigns,  in  favour  of  one 
grand  and  combined  system  of  exploration  ;  and  the  oldest  amongst  us  may  yet  live  to  see 
that  day,  when  all  the  crimes  and  follies  of  Europe,  would  be  more  than  expiated  by  a 
certain  prospect  of  the  whole  human  race  being  emancipated  from  the  fetters  of  barbarism. 

THE    PEi\.  255 

magnanimity  of  sentiment,  and  niarks  the  guilty  lor  punishment.  Tlie 
pen  preserves  our  fngitive  ideas,  gives  an  impulse  to  thought,  approxi- 
mates tl»e  sighing  lover  to  the  object  of  his  affections,  and  enables  us 
to  converse  with  the  absent.  More  powerful  than  the  voice,  which  is 
only  a  transitory  sound,  the  pen  can  never  be  enchained  :  that  which 
it  writes,  is  spread  abroad,  penetrates  to  the  interior  of  palaces,  and 
eternally  remains.  To  this  we  are  indebted  for  the  greatest  wonders  : 
M'hen  the  poet  takes  the  pen,  the  most  harmonious  numbers  flow  from 
it  ;   and  in  proportion  to  their  merit,  it  is  either  a  pen  of  gold  or  of 

Then,  as  one  great  family,  they  might  look  up  to  their  Creator,  animated  by  a  common 
faith,  founded  on  tlie  .sublimest  of  all  dogmas,  that  of  "  Doing  to  others,  as  tee  would 
they  should  do  unto  us .'" 

Warmed  by  the  contemplation  of  ray  subject,  the  possibility  of  a  scheme  like  the 
above,  has  led  to  a  feeling  of  exultation  in  what  might  be  effected;  which,  alas  !  the  recol- 
lection of  those  minor  interests  that  agitate  the  world,  is  but  too  soon  calculated  to  destroy. 
Enthusiasm  is  sometimes  useful,  and  often  necessary  :  I  will  not  therefore  relinquish  mine, 
until  every  hope  of  seeing  my  favourite  system  put  into  effect,  has  entirely  vanished.  At 
present,  I  confess  myself  to  be  extremely  sanguine;  and  draw  the  most  flattering  inferences, 
not  only  from  the  general  state  of  the  civilized  world,  but  from  that  disposition,  which  some 
sovereigns  evince  to  comply  with  the  rational  desires  of  their  people,  expressed  from  the 
awful  tribunal  of  public  opinion  ;  and  that  opinion  is  decidedly  philanthropic.  I  forbear 
entering  into  needless  details,  as  no  individual  plan,  however  perfect,  could  possibly 
embrace  so  complicated  a  design.  It  may,  however,  be  proper  to  inform  the  reader,  that 
I  am  not  one  of  the  champions  of  perfectibility  :  if  I  were,  the  sad  reality  of  the  times  would 
soon  bring  me  back  to  reason;  but  I  will  say  with  a  great  living  character,  that,  if  the 
golden  age  is  not  the  lot  of  the  present  generation,  yet,  should  it  have  been  marked  out 
for  any  part  of  human  existence,  I  trust  it  will  be  found,  not  in  that  which  is  past,  but 
in  some  part  still  to  come  ;  and  then  ask  every  unbiassed  friend  of  truth,  whether  it  is  not 
as  easy  to  enter  into  an  alliance  for  the  dissemination  of  knowledge,  as  the  preservation 
of  political  power  ?  Also,  if  he  can,  by  his  utmost  stretch  of  thought,  conceive  a  more 
glorious  spectacle  for  the  Divinity,  than  that  of  looking  down  upon  the  creatures  of  his 
hand,  availing  themselves  of  the  wisdom  he  has  afforded  them,  for  the  benign  purpose  of 
communicating  it  to  the  rest  of  his  creation  ;  instead  of  living  m  a  state  of  interminable 
warfare,  and  bitter  hatred  of  each  other,  influenced  by  passions  which  constantly  degrade 
them  below  the  level  of  brutes?  Until  these  simple  interrogatories  are  answered,  so  as  to 
destroy  my  hopes,  the  most  uncharitable  will  not  blame  me  for  cherishing  the  delightful 
dream  of  human  happiness  I  hare  figured  to  myself,  in  the  ardent  wish,  that  a  future 
generation  may  witness  its  entire  accomplishment. — Ed. 

256  MEN    OF    THE    PEN. 

fire  !  In  the  hands  of  a  vhtuous  prince,  the  pen  signs  a  deed  of 
mercy,  concedes  an  act  of  grace,  and  renders  happiness  to  a  fellow 
creature.  A  beautiful  woman  takes  the  pen,  it  traces  her  inmost 
desires  :  does  the  man  of  honour  receive  an  insult,  his  pen  writes,  and 
the  offender  trembles.  There  is  no  possibility  of  approaching  a  great 
man  ;  our  pen  supersedes  the  necessity  of  a  personal  interview  :  ashamed 
to  make  a  tender  confession,  the  pen  confides  it  to  a  .sheet  of  paper: 
are  we  desirous  of  praising  a  fine  composition  ;  it  is  said  to  be  written 
with  a  flowing  pen:  a  sublime  author  is  extolled;  his  pen  is  beautiful, 
grand  and  spirited  :  is  a  corrupt  judge,  or  perfidious  lawyer  to  be 
punished,  the  pen  is  taken  from  him. 

Mahomet  has  entitled  one  of  his  most  important  chapters.  The 
Pen  ;  commencing  thus,  "  I  swear  by  the  Divine  Pen  !" — It  goes  on 
to  say,  "  It  is  an  article  of  faith,  to  believe  that  this  Pen  was  created 
by  the  finger  of  God.  Made  of  pearls,  a  rider  who  should  go  at  full 
speed  for  a  hundred  years,  would  with  great  difficulty  reach  the  end 
of  it  ;  the  ink  at  its  point  is  composeil  of  a  subtle  light,  extracted  from 
the  sun  and  stars.  The  archangel  Raphael,  is  the  only  being  who 
can  decypher  the  characters  written  by  this  brilliant  and  sparkling 
tint.  This  pen  has  a  hundred  minor  ones  subservient  to  it,  which 
will  not  cease  to  write  night  and  day,  until  the  end  of  time  :  that 
which  has  happened,  happens  ;  and  will  happen  !" 

The  erudite  and  wise  men  of  Barbary,  are  pompously  called, 
"  Men  of  the  Pen."  This  epithet  is  also  applied  to  an  inventory, 
their  album,  or  memorandum  books  :  wherein  the  Musselmen  are  in 
the  habit  of  writing  extracts,  and  depositing  their  grave  thoughts  or 
conversations  with  men  of  learning.  I  could  not,  however,  find  out  the 
happy  flights  or  other  good  things  contained  in  the  Moorish  memo- 
randa. It  has  been  said  of  those  blank  books,  or  albums,  so  common 
in  London  and  Paris,  and  in  which  all  the  ladies  are  obliged  to  write 
something,  whether  in  verse  or  in  prose,  that  they  are  like  certain 
individuals  who  lose  in  candour  what  they  gain  in  wit.  But  with  the 
album  of  Barbary,  the  case  is  somewhat  reversed  :  these  lose  in  can- 

THE    PEN.  257 

dour  without  gaining-  in  wit  :  as  from  all  I  could  collect  on  the  sub- 
ject, their  utmost  merit  consists  in  a  iew  worn-out  citations  from  the 
Alcoran,  and  occasionally  one  or  two  trivial  sentences,  often  repeated 
as  important  truths. 

\yhile  at  Algiers,  I  w  as  once  induced  to  ask  an  Ulema,  if  his  book, 
called  the  Pen,  contained  any  of  his  public  speeches,  a  copy  of  his  verses, 
or  even  some  of  his  enigmas.  He  answered,  that  so  much  had  been  already 
written,  that  people  should  rather  destroy  than  create  ;  true  study 
consisted  in  separating  the  good  from  the  bad,  and  tinallyselectingthat 
which  was  really  worth  reading.  These  observations  surprised  me  a 
good  deal,  in  coming  from  a  Mahometan  ;  and  I  could  not  help  be- 
coming a  convert  to  his  opinions  ;  but  I  thought  him  insufferably 
presumptuous  when  he  afterwards  asserted,  that  he  could  not  only 
select  himself,  but  teach  others  to  do  so  ;  and  concluded  by  informing 
me,  that  his  principal  occupation  consisted  in  approving  of  what  was 
worthy  of  being  read  or  studied,  which  he  did  both  in  ancient  and 
modern  works,  by  placing  his  seal  and  signature  on  the  title  page  of 
each  work.  In  one  sense,  indeed,  this  literary  colossus  might  well 
be  called  a  good  pen  and  great  writer  ! 

An  obscure  and  unknown  individual,  being  once  elevated  to  a 
professorship  in  a  celebrated  university,  had  no  sooner  arrived  at  the 
seat  of  learning,  than  he  proceeded  to  leave  his  card  at  the  different 
houses  of  the  fraternity  :  the  latter,  on  observing  Professor  *  *  * 
written  on  them,  lost  in  conjecture  as  to  the  history  of  their 
new  coadjutor,  began  to  ask  each  other,  "  Who  knows  him?" 
"Who  is  this  man?"  "What  has  he  written?"  a  person  present, 
answered,  "  He  has  written  his  name!"  ^ 

*  Anarlicle,  entitled  "  La  Penna,"  and  notdiffering  very  materially  fromsomepartsof 
theabove,has  already  appeared  iu  the  Giornale  Italico,  a  periodical  work,  for  some  years  pub- 
lished in  London,  but  now  discontinued.  Soon  after  Mr.  Pananti's  leaving  England,  one  of 
those  persons  to  whom  he  was  indebted  for  his  subsequent  misfortunes,  having  retained  a 
copy,  sent  it  into  the  world  under  his  own  name  ;  first  making  a  few  alterations,  in  the 
hope  of  imposing  it  ou  the  public  as   an   original.     This  new  instance  of  perfidy  was 

L   L 


While  at  Algiers,  I  one  day  entered  tlie  school  of  an  alfagui, 
or  learned  man  ;  he  was  surrounded  by  a  great  number  of  disciples, 
and  looked  as  grave  as  Dionysius  at  Corinth.  This  pedant  was  so 
vain  and  self-sufficient,  that  when  mentioning  his  own  name,  he 
accompanied  it  by  a  profound  inclination  of  the  head,  invariably 
making  two  syllables  of  the  word  I.  Nor  did  he  leave  me  any  reason 
to  doubt,  that  he  thought  himself  fully  equal  to  the  legislative  warrior; 
for  in  pronouncing  his  name,  he  was  satisfied  with  merely  repeating 
Mahomed,  or  the  son  oi  Abdullah  ;  while  in  more  instances  than  one, 
I  was  informed  that  his  own  was,  Abn  Ebner  Ibn  Bakari  Ben  Cocubi! 
Notwithstanding  all  this  superficial  bombast,  he  had  the  talent  of 
persuading  his  scholars,  that  there  was  not  such  another  sage  in  the 
kiniydom,  or  a  more  important  personage  ;  and  had  thus  been  enabled 
to  establish  a  degree  of  subordination  and  discipline  amongst  them 
which  I  never  saw  equalled  in  any  part  of  Europe.  It  is  told  of  an 
English  monarch,  that  having  once  paid  a  visit  to  Eton  College,  in 
going  round  with  the  head  master,  his  majesty  ke})t  off  his  hat  while 
the  former  remained  covered:  on  shewing  the  king  to  his  carriage, 
the  master  then  took  his  own  off,  and  making  a  low  bow,  apologized 
for  his  apparent  want  of  respect;  and  still  afFecting  an  air  of  supe- 
riority, added,  "  Sire,  if  I  had  not  acted  in  this  way,  and  the  scholars 
did  not  think  me  the  first  man  in  your  dominions,  they  would  no 
longer  obey  me  !" 

amongst  the  number  of  many  other  not  very  agreeable  discoveries,  made  by  the  author  on 
his  return  from  Algiers.  In  thus  reclaiming  his  stolen  property,  Mr.  P.  very  properly 
observes,  "  finding  the  rook  ornamented  with  my  feathers,  I  shall  take  them  back  ;  but 
do  not,  in  thus  asserting  my  right,  plunder  any  one  : 

Sebben  né  furto  è  il  mio,  né  ladro  io  sono. 

Giusto  è  ritor  quel  che  a  gran  torto  è  tolto. 
Would  that  I  could  as  easily  recover  all  that  the  Algerines,  and  those  whoare  equallyas  bad, 
bereft  me  of,  since  I    left  England!"     This  is  followed  by  a  cutting  casfigalion  of  the 
literary  pirate  ;  the  translation  of  which  is  omitted,  from  motives  similar  to  those  stated  in 
the  early  part  of  the  volume. — Ed. 

A    STILL    TONGUE    MAKES    A    WISE    HEAD.  259 

I  became  acquainted  with  anotlier  alfagui,  in  one  of  the  principal 
kioscos  of  the  city.  Speak,  that  I  may  know  you,  is  an  old  proverb  ; 
but  all  my  efforts  to  draw  this  sapient  character  into  conversation 
were  completely  inetfectual.  He  was  like  Apollo,  whose  oracles  were 
delivered  i'rom  a  cave,  into  which  the  sun's  rays  never  entered  :  he 
might,  perhaps,  have  possessed  talents,  but  they  were  deeply  hidden 
within  ;  and  an  occasional  monosyllable  was  all  I  could  ever  extract 
from  him.  I  was  sometimes  led  to  imagine,  that  he  might  have  been  a 
shrewd  politician,  who  was  not  over  anxious  for  any  body  to  take  the 
length  of  his  foot.  Silence  is  frequently  a  great  art.  On  the  other  hand, 
this  learned  gentleman  was  extremely  careful  never  to  commit  him- 
self, by  saying,  "  I  don't  know  :"  he  seemed  more  anxious  that  his 
silence  should  pass  for  wisdom.  This  is  also  an  important  qualifica- 
tion, which  has  often  been  taught,  and  is  by  no  means  difficult  to 
be  learnt.  A  person  having  once  confided  to  a  friend,  the  frequent 
mortification  he  experienced  on  being  generally  obliged  to  remain 
silent,  for  want  of  more  extensive  information  in  a  society  where 
various  interesting  questions  were  propounded,  concluded  his  com- 
plaints, by  requesting  to  be  informed  whether  there  was  not  a  method 
of  cutting  a  better  figure  in  conversation,  without  compromising  one's 
judgment  by  making  blunders.  "  Nothing  can  be  easier,"  replied 
his  friend  :  "  I'll  soon  put  you  in  the  way  of  becoming  a  perfect  oracle 
in  all  companies.  In  the  first  place,  whenever  you  hear  any  persons 
disputing  on  subjects  of  importance,  be  careful  to  preserve  a  respect- 
ful silence;  but  watching  the  speaker  with  a  significant  look,  indicate 
your  disapprobation  by  a  slight  shake  of  the  head  ;  and  when  dis- 
posed to  applaud,  let  a  gentle  smile  play  on  your  countenance  :  an 
occasional  hum  will  also  be  of  great  use.  The  chami>ions  being  worn 
out  with  arguing,  and  no  longer  able  to  continue  in  the  field,  it  is 
your  time  to  enter  the  lists  :  assuming  a  grave  aspect,  therefore,  you 
are  in  a  dignified  tone  thus  to  express  yourself, — "  a  great  deal  more 
may  certainly  be  said  on  this  subject  ;" — and  then  resume  your  usual 
taciturnity.  The  company  will  judge  from  this  specimen  of  eloquence, 
L  L  2 


that  yoii  can  see  much  farther  into  the  point  in  dispute,  than  many  of 
those  who  have  wasted  hours  in  idle  talking  ;  but  that  you  are  deterred 
from  giving-  your  opinion,  lest  their  patience  might  be  already 
exhausted.  Thus  flattered,  they  will  even  be  grateful  for  your 
considerate  forliearance  in  not  making  them  swallow  another  disser- 

It  will  be  easily  conceived,  that  medical  science  is  not  in  a 
very  flourishing  state  in  this  part  of  the  world.  The  Moorish  doctors 
are  called  Tliibib,  whose  only  theoretical  knowledge  is  derived  from  a 
Spanish  translation  of  Dioscorides  : — alchymy  is  also  a  favourite  study 
with  them.  Their  mode  of  treatment  would  appear  .somewhat  original 
to  an  European  practitioner  ;  particularly  that  of  pouring  melted  butter 
over  recent  wounds.  For  the  rheumatism,  they  make  punctures  with 
a  lancet  on  the  joints  which  are  most  affected.  To  an  obstinate  sore, 
fire  is  applied;  and  in  cases  of  inflammation,  the  part  is  covered  with 
the  leaves  of  certain  medicinal  plants.  To  the  bites  of  scorpions  or 
.serpents,  they  apply  masticated  garlick  and  onions.  External  remedies 
are  the  only  ones  in  which  a  medical  professor  of  Barbary  has  any 
faith  ;  nor  can  he  be  persuaded  how  a  draught  or  pill  conveyed  to  the 
stomach,  can  cure  a  head-ache  :  so  that,  if  a  patient  complain  of  the 
latter,  a  blister  is  immediately  put  on,  as  near  the  seat  of  pain  a.s 
possible.  In  some  other  disorders,  the  Algerine  doctor  has  been  known 
to  fill  a  sick  man's  mouth  with  honey,  until  suftbcation  ensued.  They 
are  also  complete  followers  of  Sangrado's  .system  ;  and,  like  him, 
would  sacrifice  every  thing  in  support  of  their  opinions.  According 
to  them,  bleeding  is  an  infallible  cure  for  all  disorders;  as  these 
are  said  invariably  to  arise  from  fullness  and  inflammation  in  the 
circulating  fluid.  With  the  most  simple  method,  and  concise  nomen- 
clature, they  cannot  be  compared  to  those  disciples  of  Galen  and 
Hippocrates,  who  were  so  great  in  their  profession,  as  to  have  even 
invented  new  maladies. 

When  a  sick  man  is  disposed  of  in  Barbary,  he  is  turned  with  his 
face  tov^ards  Mecca  :  his  death  is,  however,  generally  accelerated  by  the 


noisy  lamentations  of  friends,  who  assemble  in  the  room  for  some 
hours  before  the  breath  is  yielded.  The  Moors  think  every  European 
a  doctor  ;  as  those  who  live  on  the  other  side  of  the  Alps,  believe  all 
the  Italians  are  singers.  Many  give  themselves  up  to  empirics,  who, 
amongst  other  modes  of  cure,  have  recourse  to  charms  and  incanta- 
tions: while  submitting  to  the  prescription  of  doctors,  their  firm  belief 
in  predestination  and  fatalism,  destroys  all  faith  in  the  certaintj^  of 
his  remedies  ;  so  that  few  precautions  are  ever  taken  beforeliand,  every 
thing  being  lefttodestiny.  There  are  some,  who  will  perhaps  be  inclined 
to  esteem  the  Mahometans  for  not  being  overburthened  with  confidence 
in  their  doctors,  whose  sins  are  generally  of  the  mortal  kind  :  nor  is 
there,  I  dare  say,  much  doubt  of  their  giving  many  a  man  his  pass- 
port to  the  other  world. 

A  commissary,  being  once  charged  to  deliver  certain  papers  to 
the  captains  of  some  ships,  that  were  on  the  point  of  .sailing,  amongst 
the  rest,  was  called  upon  by  a  medical  man  on  different  business  ; 
but  from  the  latter's  having  the  appearance  of  a  .seafaring  person,  the 
captain's  tirst  question  was,  "Pray  which  vessel  do  you  command t" 
To  which  the  son  of  Esculajjius  replied,  "  Why,  I  command  the  boat 
of  Chaion."  A  doctor,  who  got  up  from  table  in  great  haste,  said  to 
his  friends,  "  Pray  excuse  me,  gentlemen,  as  I  have  three  or  four 
patients  to  dispatch."*  But  to  speak  more  seriously,  is  it  not  as  bad 
as  killing  one's  self,  to  reject  medical  advice,  from  mere  popular  pre- 
judice! The  doctor  tries  his  skill,  and  if  not  the  enlightened 
practitioner,  he  will  at  least  be  more  likely  to  do  good  than  harm,  in 
the  long  trodden  path  of  his  profession.  A  blind  man  is  often  enabled 
to  move  about  in  his  native  place,  with  as  much  facility  as  many 
strangers  who  are  blessed  with  sight.  Charles  Fox  used  to  say, — 
"  I  always  do  what  the  doctors  desire  me  ;  and  if  I  die,  it  will  not 
then  be  my  fault  !" 

^'■-  The  comedy  of  the  ".Sick  Lover"  contains  a  facetious  dialogue  between  the  phy- 
sician of  an  hospital  and  a  surgeon,  who  calls  on  the  former  to  request  he  would  supply 
him   with  a   subject,  upon  whom  he   is  desirous  of  making  some  important  anatomical 

262  A    LOST    SUBJECT. 

demonstrations  and  experiments.  The  sick  lover  lays  stretched  in  an  adjoining  bed,  aud 
would  just  answer  his  purpose.  "  I  have  there,"  says  the  doctor,  "  a  poor  devil,  who 
cannot  hold  out  much  longer,  and  seems  to  have  beeu  born  for  you. — He  has  a  cough, 
which  almost  takes  away  his  breath,  aud  his  stomach  is  like  a  cauldron  :  take  my  word  for 
it  he'll  not  tell  many  more  tales  ;  but  approach  and  judge  for  yourself."  The  surgeon  then 
advances,  and  on  seeing  the  sick  man,  exclaims,  "  Aye,  he'll  make  a  beautiful  corpse, 
indeed  !  1  should  give  him  the  preference  over  a  hundred  ;"  and  turning  to  the  physician, 
says,  "  But,  tell  me,  brother,  how  soon  can  you  deliver  him  up  to  me  ?"  "  Why,"  answered 
the  doctor,  "  I  imagine  he  won't  last  longer  than  till  about  two  o'clock."- — "  Yes,  but  I 
can't  return  till  five,"  rejoined  the  surgeon  ;  "  won't  you  be  able  to  spin  him  out  for  me  till 
that  hour?" — "l'Udo  what  I  can,"  replied  the  doctor,  "and  hope,  with  the  aid  of  sopo- 
rifics and  stimulants,  to  keep  him  alive  till  the  hour  you  mention."  The  convention 
agreed  on,  no  time  was  lost  by  the  physician  in  fulfilling  his  promise.  He  first  administered 
a  slight  stimulating  draught,  which  soon  produced  such  miraculous  effects  on  the  devoted 
lover  that  in  less  than  half  an  hour,  he  opens  his  eyes,  raises  his  head,  and  puts  his  feet 
out  of  the  bed:  these  preliminary  symptoms  are  soon  followed  by  his  descending  into  the 
court  amongst  the  convalescents,  without  being  observed  by  the  doctor,  who  had  left  him 
on  giving  the  medicine  :  returning  in  a  little  time,  he  goes  to  the  lover's  bed,  confident 
that  it  is  all  over  with  him,  and  to  his  great  astonishment,  finds  it  empty.  This  is  still 
farther  increased,  when  on  going  to  the  window,  he  sees  the  sick  man  walking  backwards 
and  forwards,  perfectly  upright  with  the  other  patients.  How  is  the  disappointed  doctor 
to  excuse  himself  to  the  surgeon  ?  By  the  way  of  completing  his  embarrassment,  the 
latter  comes  in  before  his  (ime,  saying,  "  Well  !  here  I  am  ;  all  ready  to  take  away  what 
you  promised  :  is  the  subject  ready  ?  I  suppose  it's  a  little  wawm  yet  ?"     The  doctor,  with 

a  troubled  air,  "  My  dear  Sir "  "  What's  the  matter?"—"  I  am  really  very  sorry, 

but "  "Oh  !  I  understand,  he  was  already  promised." — "  Far  from  it,"  replied  the 

doctor  ;  and  then  proceeds  to  relate  the  melancholy  adventure,  which  ended  in  the  sick 
man's  unexpected  resurrection.  He  adds,  that  wishing  to  spin  him  out,  he  had  com- 
pletely overdone  the  business,  as  the  first  dose  made  him  jump  out  of  bed,  as  if  nothing 
had  been  the  matter  with  him.  The  surgeon,  with  whom  it  was  no  Joke,  gave  him  a  most 
serious  look  ;  and  said,  he  thought  he  had  to  deal  with  a  man  of  honour  ;  instead  of  which, 
the  doctor  had  only  trifled  with  his  feelings  ;  and  concluded  by  observing,  that  when  a 
mau  pledged  his  word,  it  should  be  religiously  kept. 



i^hde  of  the  Arts  in  Barbary. — Curious  Cement  and  Glue. — Lctnguages  of 
Northern  Africa. — Anecdote.— Moorish  Music. — Different  Instruments. — 
Singing. — Islamism. — Ridiculous  Customs. — Strict  Observance  of  Fasts.— 
Sanctuary  afforded  by  Mosques,  ^c. — Holy  City.  — Paradise  of  Musselmen. 
— Pilgrimage  to  Mecca. — Order  of  the  March,  and  Allusion  to  the  Ceremo- 
nies performed  thei-e. — Marabouts. — Anecdote. —  Vaili,  or  Saints,  their  Hypo- 
crisy illustrated. — Facility  of  being  canonized  in  Barbary. —  The  Mufti. — 
Tiieir  Office  and  Potcers. — Mode  of  deciding  legal  Questions  and  administering 
the  Laws. —  Thehnans. —  The  Muezzins,  and  Hours  of  Prayer. —  The  Koran. — 
Short  Analysis  of  its  Contents.— Anecdote  of  Dorat,  the  French  Poet. — Comr- 
mentators  on  the  Koran,  éfc. 

The  Moors  have  no  idea  of  sculpture  or  design,  both  being  prohi- 
bited by  their  rebgious  precepts,  which  entirely  exclude  the  use  of 
images,  or  other  representations  of  living  objects.  If  a  picture  is 
shewn  to  them,  its  excellence  is  no  recommendation  :  they  are  dazzled 
by  the  variety  of  tint  in  a  painting,  but  have  no  conception  of  it  as 
an  imitative  art.  In  arcliitecture,  they  are  more  deeply  versed,  and 
build  with  considerable  solidity,  while  the  ornamental  part  is  scarcely 
considered.  The  princi[)al  cement  used  at  Algiers  is  called  tabby  ; 
and  consists  of  two  portions  of  wood  ashes,  three  of  lime,  and  one  of 
sand  :  while  mixing  up,  there  is  a  quantity  of  oil  added,  and  the 
whole  is  beaten  with  shovels  for  three  successive  days,  until  it  has 
acquired  the  necessary  consistence  :  exposed  to  the  air,  it  becomes  as 
hard  as  marble,  antl  equally  impenetrable  to  all  the  effects  of  the 
atmosphere.  Who  knows,  but  this  curious  mortar  may  have  been 
originally   brought  into  Mauritania  by  the  Romans,    and  that  the 


people  of  Barbaiy  have  thus  preserved  the  important  secret  ;  which 
has  given  such  amazing  stabilit}^  to  all  the  ancient  remains  of  this 
country  and  Italy  Ì  The  question  is  by  no  means  uninteresting,  and 
will  probably  occupy  the  attention  of  future  travellers.  The 
Moorish  artisans  also  prepare  a  species  of  glue,  from  new  cheese, 
out  of  uhich  care  is  taken  to  extract  all  the  milk  :  to  this  is  added, 
some  of  the  finest  quick  lime,  which  renders  it  perfectly  inaccessible 
to  the  eftects  of  humidity.  It  is  strange,  that  possessing  such  large 
quantities  of  excellent  saltpetre,  they  should  be  so  very  backward  in 
the  manufacture  of  gunpowder,  particularly  the  finer  sort. 

If  we  except  the  mere  mechanical  arts,  there  is  nothing  to  excite 
much  praise  in  Moorish  industry  ;  all  their  ingenuity  being  applied  to 
those  trades,  most  useful  in  supplying  the  connnon  necessaries  of  life. 
Speaking  of  my  unfortunate  companion,  Terreni,  the  minister  of 
the  marine  once  observed  to  Mr.  M"  Donnei  and  myself:  "he  is  a 
great  acquisition  to  us  :  we  know  him  to  be  a  famous  artist,  and 
shall  lose  no  time  in  setting  hini  about  painting  our  ships  I" 

Alluding  to  the  language  of  Barbary,  it  is  truly  singular,  that  the 
Punic  should  be  so  totally  lost,  as  to  have  left  no  trace  behind,  except 
what  we  occasionally  see  on  theNumidian  coins.  As  to  the  Berbera, 
it  has  no  connection  whatever  with  the  Arabic  ;  which  may  be  called 
the  mother  tongue  of  all  the  guttural  languages  of  the  East.  That 
which  is  called  shavia  or  shillah,  by  the  Kabiles,  possesses  a  charac- 
ter of  originality,  which  has  often  been  compared  to  that  of  the 
Hebrew.  There  is  also  said  to  be  a  most  striking  similarity  between 
the  Berbera  and  Chinese. 

The  language  used  by  the  indigenous  inhabitants  of  northern 
Africa,  is  extremely  barren,  and  little  more  than  the  jargon  of  half 
civilized  people  :  being  very  deficient  in  abstract  terminations,  con- 
junctive particles,  and  various  terms  of  the  substantive  kind  ;  all  of 
which  tliey  are  obliged  to  take  from  the  Arabic.  Languages  are  like 
articles  of  commerce  :  to  enrich  those  who  deal  in  them,  they  must  be 
reciprocally  exchanged.      Towards  Mount  Atlas,    there  is  another 


tongue  spoken,  which  is  said  to  have  considerable  affinity  to  that  of 
Nigratia  :  and  many  of  the  Moors  told  me,  it  was  both  expressive  and 
sont>rous.  The  Be^louins  pretend  to  an  exclusively  elegant  mode  of 
speaking-  and  pronouncing  the  Arabic;  but  that  has  also  experienced 
a  good  deal  of  corruption,  which  generally  increases,  in  proportion  to 
the  distance  an  Arab  is  removed  from  the  seat  of  its  original  promul- 
gation. Some  have,  however,  asserted,  that  it  is  much  better  spoken 
in  Barbary  than  Egypt.  In  speaking  Arabic  amongst  the  Moors, 
the  higher  orders  with  difficulty  understand  each  other  ;  while  Turkish 
is  adopted  in  the  divan  and  council  of  state.  The  public  functiona- 
ries, mercliauts,  and  Jews  on  the  coast,  communicate  in  a  Lingua 
Franca,  indiscriminately  composed  of  Spanish,  Italian,  and  corrupt 
Arabic.  Although  all  the  verbs  of  this  gibberish  are  used  in  the 
infinitive,  and  it  has  no  prepositions,  both  strangers  and  natives  are 
very  well  able  to  make  it  intelligible  to  each  other. 

Many  of  the  African  terminations  are  not  altogether  devoid  of 
force  and  harmony  ;  as,  fv»r  example  :  aksion,  meat  ;  sham,  wheat  ; 
chamu,  wine;  Jiuff,  a  fowl;  jubiutl,  a  little  girl;  kalm,  coffee; 
karamoe,  honour  ;  mora,  a  woman  ;  valeal,  a  young  boy  ;  arghez, 
a  man  ;  thamurt,  land  ;  and  nsarum,  bread.  I  could  have  easily 
recollected  a  mucli  greater  number  of  words,  but  doubted  whether  it 
was  likely  to  be  of  any  use.  The  Guardian  Basha,  and  Rais  Hamida, 
frequently  told  me,  I  ought  to  make  a  point  of  learning  the  Arabic  ; 
but  if  I  had,  to  what  purpose  could  it  lead  ?  The  celebrated  English 
statesman,  Lord  Godolphin,  one  day  asked  Mr.  Rowe,  if  he  knew 
the  Spanish  :  the  poet  replied,  "  that  he  understood  it  tolerably 
well  ;  but  that  he  could,  in  two  or  three  months,  become  perfect 
master  of  it."  "  You  should  do  so,"  said  the  minister.  On  this, 
Rowe,  thinking  that  he  was  intended  for  some  important  post  or 
mission,  in  which  a  knowledge  of  the  above  language  was  necessary, 
immediately  retired  into  the  country  ;  and,  returning  to  London  after 
three  months  of  the  closest  application,  waited  on  his  expected  patron 
to  inform  him,  that,  according  to  the  latter's  recommendation,  he  had 

M  M 

200  MUSIC. 

studied  Spanish,  until  it  had  become  as  familiar  to  him  as  his  mother- 
tongue.  "  How  I  envy  your  happiness!"  said  the  statesman  :  "■  it  is 
now  in  your  power  to  read  Don  Quixote  in  the  original!"  I  wonder 
what  comfort  I  could  have  derived  from  a  knowledge  of  the  Arabic, 
except  that  of  reading  the  Alcoran,  and  its  three  thousand,  three 
hundred  and  eighty  connnentators.* 

The  Arab  legislator  has,  together  with  all  games  of  chance, 
and  dancing,  also  proscribed  music  and  singing  :  the  imaum,  or  com- 
mentators, have  launched  forth  the  most  fulminating  threats  against 
all  those  who  listen  with  pleasure  to  the  "  harmony  of  sweet  sounds." 
But  these  barbarous  injunctions  have  not  succeeded  in  preventing 
most  of  the  faithful  trom  being  extremely  fond  of  music;  particularly 
the  instiumental  kind.  The  rich  and  great  generally  keep  instru- 
ments ;  and  many  of  them,  in  travelling  through  the  country,  are 
accompanied  hy  musicians,  who  play  a  variety  of  airs  at  ditì'erent 
intervals,  while  the  Moors,  seated  on  some  verdant  rising  ground, 
seem  absorbed  in  voluptuous  ecstacy. 

Music  is,  however,  absolutely  prohibited  in  the  mosques  :  regarded 
as  a  profanation  by  the  imans,  it  is  only  tolerated  by  the  force  of 
custom,  and  impossibility  of  even  the  most  savage  nations  being- 
deprived  of  its  consoling  and  electrifying  effect.  A  celebrated  popular 
preacher,  having  once  introduced  a  i'ew  airs,  selected  from  the  most 
esteemed  operas,  into  his  church  service,  being  reproved  by  his 
friends,  for  thus  adapting  profane  sounds  to  so  holy  a  purpose, 
answered,  "  surely  you  do  not  wish  the  devil  to  monopolize  all  the 
fine  tunes'?" 

While  indifferent  to  vocal  music,  the  Moor,  who  plays  tolerably 
well  on  any  instrument,  will  gain  more  money,  than  ten  of  their 
literati.  There  are,  also,  many  amateur  perfonners,  but  these  always 
practice  at  home  ;    thinking  it  a  degradation  to  appear  in  public  as 

*  Pope  used  to  say,  that  if  he  had  any  daughters,  they  should  never   b;^  taught  a 
foreigu  language  ;  one  being  enough  for,  and  even  rather  too  much  for  a  woman  ! — Ed. 

MUSIC.  267 

musicians  ;  which,  as  they  say,  should  be  confined  to  those  who  get 
their  livelihood  by  it. 

Their  [)rincipal  instruments  are,  the  urabehbak,  of  the  violin- 
cello  species,  with  one  string  ;  the  vebeb,  or  Moorisli  violin,  having 
two  strings  ;  and  which  is  played  on  with  a  bow,  like  the  violin- 
cello  ;  the  gasuph,  a  species  of  octave  flute  ;  and  the  taun,  which 
is  the  tlmpanum  of  the  ancients.  I  also  saw  a  few  badly  strung  vio- 
lins, like  those  of  Europe,  on  which  the  Moors  played,  in  the  manner 
of  our  double  bass,  or  violincello.  They  always  play  from  memory, 
having  no  idea  of  notes  ;  yet  they  are  not  without  some  method,  and 
beat  time  extremely  well  with  their  hands. 

Nearly  all  their  songs  are  of  the  heroic  kind  :  their  historical 
ones  have  a  sort  of  preamble  ;  each  stanza  commencing  with  a  little 
air  on  the  arabebbah  ;  after  which,  the  recitative  goes  on,  accompanied 
by  the  gasaph  ;  and,  although  this  description  of  music  is  very  mo- 
notonous, I  did  not,  on  the  whole,  find  it  disagreeable.  It  often 
reminded  me  of  the  national  airs  of  the  Welch,  and  rude  highlanders 
of  Scotland.  They  prefer  simple,  easy,  and  tender  strains,  to  the 
fantastical,  roundabout,  wandering,  and  hieroglyphical  style  of  the 
modem  bravura  :  even  the  Moors  well  know  that  such  complicated 
rhapsodies  are  not  those  best  calculated  to 

-Soothe  the  savage  breast. 

Soften  rocks,  or  bend  the  knotted  oak  ! 

A  famous  violin  player  having  executed  a  concerto,  during  which, 
he  produced  some  appoggiaturi  and  shakes,  that  astonished  many 
of  his  hearers,  Dr.  Johnson,  who  was  present,  remained  with  the 
utmost  tranquillity  and  apparent  attention  till  it  was  over;  and  not 
joining  in  the  general  plaudits,  the  professor  tapped  him  on  the 
shoulder,  saying,  "  I  assure  you,  doctor,  I  have  executed  some  very 
difficult  things  in  this  concerto."  "  Would,  that  they  had  been 
impossible  !"  replied  the  sage. 

The  religion  of  Barbary  is  Mahometanisra,  blended  with  various 

M  M  2 


superstitious  practices,  which  are  not  only  rejected,  but  couteniiied 
by  the  Koran.  The  people  of  this  country  profess  to  belong  to  the  sect 
of  Melechie,  one  of  the  four  great  divisions  into  which  Islaniism  has 
separated.  To  me,  the  Turks  appeared  much  more  scrupulous  in 
their  devotions  than  the  Moors  ;  and,  Avhile  on  board  the  Algerine 
frigate,  they,  alone,  regularly  performed  the  usual  genuflexions,  and 
dividing  into  parties  of  four,  never  omitted  the  Messa,  or  grand 
orison  of  mid-day.  All  Musselmen  are  enjoined  by  the  prophet  to 
offer  up  prayers  five  times  a  day.  No  person  of  a  different  persuasion 
can  enter  the  mosques  :  a  Christian  who  violates  tliis  law,  has  only  to 
choose  between  death  and  circmncision.  On  passing  the  Mahometan 
temples  at  Algiers,  I  always  observed  at  least  a  hundred  lighted  lamps 
suspended  in  them  :  when  the  hour  of  devotional  exercise  airives, 
there  are  people  expressly  appointed  to  call  the  faithful  together. 
Ascending  the  minarets,  or  tower  of  the  mosque,  they  cry  out  with  a 
loud  voice,  Lailla  Allah,  Allah  Mahommed  restii  Allah  ;  that  is  to  say, 
there  is  but  one  God,  and  Mahomet  was  sent  by  him.  On  entering  the 
mosque,  the  believers  leave  their  slippers  at  the  door  ;  and  the  first 
movement  is  that  of  kneeling  towards  the  kibah,  or  side  facing 

The  faithful  always  carry  a  rosary  in  their  hand,  not  for  the  pur- 
pose of  saying  a  pater  noster  like  us,  but  to  repeat  the  attributes  of 
the  Divinity  :  such  as,  God  is  great  ;  God  is  good,  wise,  long,  round, 
&c.  I  have  frequently  seen  them  sitting  for  hours  together,  with  their 
hands  behind,  and  the  rosary  suspended  from  them,  muttering  the 
above  short,  but  significant  phrases.  In  fact,  the  bead  is  to  them, 
what  a  fan  is  to  a  modern  belle,  or  the  supple  cane  carried  by  our  Italian 

They  have  a  hundred  puerile  customs,  which  must  be  observed 
with  scrupulous  exactness  :  for  example,  the  obligation  of  turnhig 
their  back  to  the  sun,  whenever  they  stop  in  the  street  ;  that  of  wash- 
ing the  right  side  first,  and  wetting  the  left,  before  the  other  is  dry. 
During  the  ablutions,    they  cannot  throw  water  with  the   lett  hand  ; 


nor  either  laugh  or  blow  their  nose  in  the  mosque  :  when  praying, 
tliey  must  raise  their  hands  to  the  cartilage  of  the  ears,  and 
then  rub  the  stomach  with  one  hand  :  in  clasping  their  hands,  the 
right  must  be  uppermost;  and  in  this  state,  prayers  are  to  be  repeated, 
while  their  eyes  are  steadily  directed  towards  the  fingers  ;  on  bowing, 
the  hands  are  placed  on  the  knees  :  a  Mahometan  is  also  to  sit  down 
with  the  left  foot  under  the  right,  and  toes  to  the  east  ;  not  to  yawn 
while  at  prayers,  lest  the  devil  should  get  down  his  throat.  Scrupulously 
to  fulfil  these  injunctions,  is  the  criterion  by  which  we  are  to  judge  of 
Islamism  being  adhered  to  in  all  its  purity. 

Fasts  are,  in  most  cases,  very  strictly  observed  ;  and  some  are  so 
exceedingly  scrupulous,  that  they  cover  their  faces  to  prevent  the  effluvia 
of  meat  from  approaching  too  near.  During  the  short  bayram,  they  are 
enjoined  to  give  largely  in  charity  ;  and  there  is,  on  these  occasions,  no 
scarcity  of  candidates  to  receive  their  alms  :  but  the  more  rich  gene- 
rally get  out  of  the  way  and  hide  themselves,  when  these  appeals  are 
about  to  be  made  to  their  pockets.  Owing  to  his  firm  belief  in  predes- 
tination, the  Mahometan  seldom  thinks  of  taking  any  precautions  for 
the  future,  particularly  where  life  is  merely  the  object:  he  is,  how- 
ever, often  calm  and  intrepid  in  misfortune  ;  bowing  the  head  and 
repeating,  "  It  was  to  be." 

The  mosques  afford  sanctuary  to  guilty  persons,  and  so  do  the 
chapels  and  cells  of  the  Marabouts  :  should  the  crime  be  even  that  of 
treason,  theDey  cannot  forcibly  possess  himself  of  the  delinquent:  a 
wall  is  built  round  the  spot;  and,  unable  to  take  him  by  assault,  the 
culprit  is  starved  into  submission. 

In  the  kingdom  of  Tunis,  there  are  several  holy  cities  ;  one  of 
which,  near  the  capital,  is  called  Sidif  Bussad.  Tlie  Moors  have  an 
idea,  that  in  the  event  of  Mecca's  being  destroyed,  the  ashes  of  their 
prophet  will  be  conveyed  to  this  sacred  place.  Neither  Jews  nor 
Christians  can  enter  it;  but  if  pursued  by  justice,  they  may  go  under 
the  walls,  when  a  tent  being  given  to  tliem,  the  Moors  consider  it  as  an 
inviolable  asylum. 

270  PILCniMAGE    TO    MECCA. 

The  paradise  of  Mussehnen,  is  called  corckam.  Amongst  other 
pleasures  to  be  enjoyed  there,  is  that  of  possessing  innumerable  houris, 
whose  virginity  is  renewed  every  day,  who  batlie  in  honey  and  water 
of  roses,  and  live  in  palaces  composed  of  diamonds  and  j>earls. 
The  damned  are  said  to  be  re-born,  and  die  every  twenty-four  hours. 
It  is  believed,  that  when  a  corpse  is  laid  in  the  grave,  two  black 
angels  attend,  Gnanequir  and  Mongir  ;  one  of  whom  has  a  hammer, 
and  the  other  iron  hooks  to  replace  the  departed  soul  in  the  body. — 
These  angels  ask  tlie  dead  man,  if  he  was  a  good  Musselman  while 
on  earth  ;  and  if  he  does  not  give  a  satisfactory  account  of  himself, 
the  angel  who  carries  the  hammer,  gives  him  a  blow,  which  drives  the 
body  six  perches  deeper  in  the  earth.  If,  on  the  other  hand,  he  can 
make  it  appear  that  he  has  walked  in  the  way  of  righteousness  while 
living,  the  black  angels  disappear,  and  two  beautiful  white  ones  take 
their  places  near  the  body,  where  they  remain  till  the  day  of  judgment. 

All  things,  according  to  these  people,  are  submitted  to  an 
inevitable  destiny,  which  they  call  Narsip  or  Facter  ;  but  they  fully 
confide  in  the  Char-allha,  or  justice  of  God.  This  cabalistic  word  is 
held  in  the  highest  veneration  ;  and  no  one  can  refuse  appearing 
before  the  tribunal,  if  he  who  cites  him  pronounces  Char-allha. 

But  of  all  the  duties  and  ceremtmies  connected  with  Islamism, 
the  pilgrimage  to  Mecca  is  by  far  the  most  important  :  from  the  very 
earliest  infancy,  the  advantages  and  glory  of  this  holy  journey,  is 
constantly  impressed  on  the  mind  of  every  Mahometan  ;  and  should 
he  die  in  the  undertaking,  so  much  the  more  happiness  is  reserved 
for  him  in  paradise.  Returning  in  safety,  he  is  honoured  with  the 
title  of  H aggi,  and  looked  up  to  as  one  who  has  performed  wonders. 
This  voyage  is,  in  fact,  the  great  object  of  a  believer's  life,  and  to 
the  hope  of  accomplishing  it,  there  is  no  sacrifice  which  he  is  not 
prepared  to  make  :  working  for  years  to  procure  the  means  of  visiting 
the  sacred  shrine,  the  greater  the  difficulties  to  be  surmounted, 
the  more  merit  acquired  by  him  who  succeeds  in  the  enterprize. 
Interest,  too,  which  scarcely  ever  ceases  to  operate  on  the  mind  of 


mail,  is  not  tbrgotten  by  the  pious  Musselman  in  his  trip  to  Mecca; 
which  he  generally  makes  subservient  to  an  earthly  as  well  as 
heavenly  reward,  by  combining  mercantile  speculation  with  the 
sanctified  offices  of  religion. 

A  motive  of  common  safety  and  mutual  defence  leads  to  those 
associations  of  pilgrims,  called  Caravans,  from  Caroun,  a  passage 
from  one  place  to  another  :  that  of  Barbary,  known  by  the  title  ol" 
the  Mogreheni,  is  formed  at  Morocco  ;  {>eing  joined  on  its  route  by 
all  the  pilgrims  of  the  three  regencies.  It  traverses  the  parched  and 
dreary  deserts  of  Lybia  ;  and  on  getting  to  Cairo,  meets  the  grand 
re-union  of  those  who  frequent  the  holy  city  from  Egypt  and  Con- 

On  leaving  his  house,  the  pilgrim  recites  the  Fathea,  meaning 
commencement;  and  when  the  general  prayer  is  offered  up  in  the 
leader's  tent,  all  the  faithful  begin  the  journey  by  the  sound  of  music, 
in  the  following  order  : — The  camels  and  mules  in  front  ;  then  come 
the  pedestrians  :  while  those  mounted  on  horseback  form  the  rear 
guard.  A  Chri,stian  may  accompany  the  caravan,  if  he  has  a  pass- 
port fioni  some  Arab  prince,  or  governor  of  a  city.  He  may  also 
place  himself  under  the  protection  of  its  chief:  they  generally  start 
before  sun-rise,  dine  at  noon,  and  rest  for  the  night  at  four.  The 
annvial  pilgrims  of  Barbary,  usually  amount  to  three  thousand;  most 
of  whom  are  well  armed  :  their  camp  has  all  the  appearance  of  being 
a  militaiy  one,  so  that  the  predatory  Arabs  scarcely  ever  attempt  to 
molest  them.  These  caravans  take  a  hundred  days  to  reach  Mecca  : 
the  places  of  encampment  are  settled  before  hand.  During  the  seven 
hours  of  travelling  in  each  day,  the  march  seldom  exceeds  twenty 
miles.  From  Cairo,  the  Grand  Seignor  allows  an  escort,  while  the 
united  pilgrims  travel  under  the  command  of  a  Bey,  called  Em  ir 
Hagge,  or  the  Prince  of  Pilgrims.  Before  this  officer  is  borne  tlie 
Feneich  Chcrsi,  or  standard  of  the  prophet.  The  caravan  is  gene- 
rally follo\\ed  by  a  number  of  cooks  and  other  purveyors,  who 
expose  their  diffisrent  articles  for  .sale  every  evening  when  the  halt  takes 
place.     The  more  wealthy  pilgrims  often  take  their  wives  with  them  : 


tliese  are  carried  in  litters,  or  seats  suspended  on  each  .side  o{"  the 
camel,  which  are  covered  with  veils,  to  keep  off  the  sun's  rays  or 
vulgar  gaze.  The  rich  also  provide  themselves  with  litters,  in  case 
ol' sickness  or  over  fatigue,  while  a  hundred  are  supplied  by  the  libe- 
rality^ of  the  .sultan. 

The  number  of  pilgrims  who  meet  at  Cairo,  usually  exceed  forty 
thousand.  The  last  night  previous  to  moving,  is  passed  in  great 
festivity  :  and  as  the  Musselmen  are,  on  these  occasions,  accompanied 
by  their  wives  and  relatives,  it  is  said  to  be  rather  favourable  to 
Mahometan  intrigue  ;  as  the  ladies  have  entire  liberty  while  the  feast 
continues.  To  behold,  on  those  vast  plains,  a  thousand  tents  of 
diflerent  hues  in  day-light,  and  illuminated  by  innumerable  brilliant 
lamps  at  night  ;  a  world  of  people  moving  about  the  spacious  pro- 
menades formed  between  their  portable  habitations  ;  the  capital  of 
Egypt  in  the  distance,  and  the  waters  of  the  Nile  ilowing  majesti- 
cally along  ;  and  to  hear  the  shouts  of  joy  which  rend  the  air  on 
every  side,  is  a  sight  hardly  to  be  equalled  by  any  other  in  the 

Many  eastern  travellers  have  spoken  of  the  pilgrimage  to  Mecca, 
of  the  great  sacrifice  of  three  days  on  the  mountain  of  Arefat,  where 
it  is  thought  Abraham  was  on  the  point  of  immolating  his  son  Isaac; 
of  the  adoration  in  Abraham's  house,  which  some  call  the  house  of 
God,  and  where  the  Divinity  is  supposed  to  be  always  present  ;  of  the 
famous  well  of  Zezem  ;  the  presentation  of  the  carpet  sent  annually 
by  the  Grand  Seignor  to  cover  the  Caaba,  or  holy  sepulchre  ;  of 
the  celebrated  Aswad,  or  black  stone,  brought  from  Heaven  by  the 
angel  Gabriel  ;*  the  rites  practised  in  putting  on  the  Ihram,  of  the 
great  ablution  under  the  Golden  Sewer  ;    of  the  Sais,  or  seven  turns 

*  I  defy  the  most  highly  favoured  courtezan  of  Europe  to  boast  of  so  many  kisses 
and  embraces  as  this  sacred  relic  ;  it  being  customary  for  each  pilgrim  to  apply  his  lips  io 
it  every  time  he  goes  round  the  temple.  The  frequency  of  this  ceremony  has  given  rise  to 
a  favourite  proverb  amongst  the  eastern  poets,  which  might  be  adopted  in  more  northern 
climes,  without  doing  much  violence  to  veracity.  In  addressing  certain  indulgent 
dulcineas,  they  say,  "  You  have  received  more  caresses  than  the  black  stone  of  Mecca  !" 


round  the  pillar,  and  finally,  of  the  return  by  Medina  and 'Jerusalem. 
The  caravans  are  not  allowed  to  put  up  in  the  city,  but  are  encamped 
in  the  vicinity,  maintaining  a  degree  of  tranquillity  and  order,  which 
is  truly  surprising,  considering  tlie  immense  concourse  of  people  who 
frequent  Mecca  at  that  time. 

According  to  the  order  of  the  voyage,  the  Mogrebini  should 
arrive  at  Mecca  a  little  after  the  other  pilgrims  from  Turkey,  and 
leave  it  rather  before  ;  lest,  as  the  believers  apprehend,  the  holy  city 
should  be  seized  by  them.  No  sooner  has  the  caravan  set  out  on  its 
return  to  Cairo,  than  provision  convoys  are  sent  to  meet  it  :  one  on 
the  same  day  ;  another  in  tifteen  ;  and  a  third,  twenty-two  days  after 
its  departure.  This  precaution  consoles  the  weary  pilgrim  on  his 
tedious  journey  ;  but  of  all  his  .sources  of  consolation,  nothing  equals 
that  of  discovering  the  pure  waters  of  the  Nile  :  it  is  then  that  friends 
and  relatives  go  out  and  welcome  the  Haggi.  With 
demonstrations  of  joy,  preceded  by  drums  and  music,  the  time  is 
passed  in  continued  embraces  ;  and  although  ever  so  limited  in  their 
means,  the  day  of  return  is  sure  to  be  one  of  liberal  festivity,  in 
which  the  Haggi  treats  all  his  friends,  and  relates  the  wonders  he 
has  seen.  It  is  .said,  that  some  have  been  known  to  put  their  eyes 
out  on  returning  from  Mecca  ;  saying,  that  there  was  nothing  on  earth 
worth  seeing  after  making  the  pilgrimage. 

The  saints,  or  holy  men  of  Barbary,  are  called  Vaili,  but  their 
more  common  appellation  is  Marabout,  meaning  a  man  tied  round 
the  middle  with  a  cord.  These  are  a  species  of  monks  who  inhabit 
small  cells  or  temples,  which  are  styled  Marabouts  after  themselves. 

Many  of  this  .secluded  class  are  possessed  of  great  virtue,  exclu- 
sively devoting  their  time  to  works  of  charity  and  benevolence  : 
succouring  the  indigent,  curing  the  sick,  and  consoling  the  afflicted, 
they  exalt  the  dignity  of  our  perishable  nature  ;  m  hile  others,  and  not 
a  few,  can  only  be  compared  to  the  ''  wolves  in  sheeps'  clothing"  so 
emphatically  described  by  ihe  apostle  ;  and,  like  the  false  prophets  of 
old,  chiefly  delight  in  works  of  iniquity  and  darkness. 

274  marabouts: 

Although  capable  of  pursuing-  tlie  most  austere  life,  and  suiiering 
the  greatest  privations  without  murmuring,  the  Marabouts  have  never 
made  a  specific  vovi'  of  continency,  thinking  its  fultilment  an  abso- 
lute impossibility.  Often  held  in  contempt  by  the  great,  they  are 
frequently  beaten  by  the  Turkish  soldiery  :  but  whenever  one  of  them 
dies,  he  is  buried  with  great  ceremony  ;  a  mausoleum  is  erected  over 
his  grave,  and  a  lamp  is  kept  constantly  burning  in  it.  The  Moorish 
ladies  are  wonderfully  attached  to  these  sanctuaries,  to  which  numbers 
go  daily  for  the  purpose  of  otlering  up  their  devotions  :  they  are,  on 
these  occasions,  generally  followed  by  a  slave  ;  and  some  have  been 
ill-natured  enough  to  say,  that  many  of  these  visits  are  blended  with 
sentiments  of  a  more  tender  and  worldly  nature  than  those  of  mere 
devotional  exercises.  The  Marabouts,  like  more  civilized  divines,  are 
particularly  fond  of  contending  for  precedence  ;  and  during  religious 
processions,  warmly  dispute  their  respective  places,  attaching  infinite 
importance  to  the  most  insignificant  trifles.  But  irom  w  hat  sphere  of 
human  life  is  pride  and  vanity  excluded  t 

Two  men  with  pallid  countenances,  trembling  limbs,  and 
apparently  unable  to  articulate  from  the  effects  of  strong  passion, 
once  presented  themselves  before  the  manager  of  a  theatre,  to  com- 
plain of  the  gross  insult  and  injustice  which  had  been  done  them. 
"  But  what's  the  matter?"  asked  the  astonished  manager;  upon 
which  one  of  the  party,  in  a  stammering  voice,  said, — "  As  you  well 
know  we  are  the  principal  grotesque  dancers  of  your  theatre,  and  have 
hitherto,  ^vith  the  greatest  alacrity,  personified  either  a  lion,  elephant, 
or  bear,  as  the  occasion  required  ;  but  always  on  condition  that  we 
should  move  forwards  in  such  characters.  However,  in  the  rehearsal 
of  this  morning,  they  wanted  us  to  walk  backwards!  ^^'e  therefore  come 
to  say,  that  you  may  kick,  or  use  any  other  indignity  you  like  towards 
us,  in  our  capacity  of  elephant  or  bear  ;  but  rather  discharge  us  alto- 
gether than  allow  us  to  be  exposed  to  the  above  humiliating  degra- 
dation and  insupportable  di.sgrace  !" 

The  inviolable   sanctuary  afibrded  by  the  Marabouts  to  crimi- 

THE    VAILI.  275 

iials  of  every  kind,  is  commended  by  a  modern  traveller,  as  one 
of  the  very  few  institutions  worthy  of  praise  in  those  despotic  regions, 
where  the  inhabitants,  deprived  of  all  civil  guarantees,  frequently  find 
these  asylums  a  resource  for  persecuted  innocence.  Many  of  the 
saints  have  been  often  known  to  obtain  such  popularity,  as  to  govern 
a  number  of  the  tribes  in  their  neighbourhood,  which  they  have  even 
found  the  means  of  exempting  from  tribute.  When  travelling,  they 
are  followed  by  an  immense  concourse  of  people  ;  some  of  whom  are 
armed  for  their  prote<'tion.  On  these  occasions,  governors  of  pro- 
vinces and  other  dignitaries  go  out  to  meet  them,  and  join  the  multi- 
tude in  singing  the  praises  of  the  Vaili. 

If  any  proof  were  required  of  the  degraded  condition  of  human 
nature  in  this  country,  it  would  be  found  in  the  extraordinary  and 
almost  unaccountable  veneration  shewn  towards  fools  and  ideots. 
This  is  said  to  arise  from  a  belief  of  the  latter's  being  considered  as 
absorbed  in  celestial  contemplation,  which  prevents  their  descending 
to  earthly  concerns. 

Some  of  these  fanatical  maniacs  are  endowed  with  much  more 
extensive  privileges,  and  looked  up  to  with  greater  esteem  than  others. 
Persons  about  to  take  a  long  journey,  or  who  meditate  any  important 
project,  go  and  consult  them  as  the  Greeks  did  their  oracles. 
Battle  is  never  given  by  the  general  of  an  army  without  pre- 
viously consulting  the  Vaili,  who  hold  the  place  of  the  augurs  and 
sacred  pullets  of  the  Romans.  The  caravans  too,  are  always  accom- 
panied by  some  of  this  holy  race  ;  and  thus  protected,  freely  pass  the 
most  savage  tribes,  like  the  Troubadours  and  bards  of  the  Gaids  and 
ancient  Britons.  After  the  harvest  is  got  in,  the  Moors  present  them 
with  tlie  tirst-fruits  :  they  are  also  I'reely  permitted  to  enter  any  shop 
or  garden,  and  take  away  whatever  is  most  agreeable  to  them. 

It  will  not,  after  the  above  short  description  of  the  Atrican  saints, 
excite  much  siirprise,  when  I  add,  that  there  are  a  number  of  im- 
postors amongst  them,  who  tind  it  extremely  convenient  to  assumr- 
the  appearance  of  ideots,  in  order  the  more  easily  to  impo,se  on  the 

\  N  2 


credulity  of  the  public  ;  while  the  self-created  ejift  of  prophecy  is  fre- 
quently made  an  engine  of  sedition  and  revolt,  and  in  this  state  of 
heavenly  inspiration,  almost  every  violence  is  tolerated.  This  dan- 
gerous privilege  is  grossly  abused  by  some  of  these  soi-disant  saints, 
who  will  often,  in  a  moment  of  atrocious  phrenzy,  and  while  foaming 
at  the  mouth,  attack  the  inoffensive  passengers,  biting  and  tearing 
their  clothes,  while  the  latter  are  earnestly  occupied  in  prostrating 
themselves  before  the  consecrated  madman  or  impostor,  and  with 
caresses  endeavour  to  calm  his  brutal  fury.  I  heard  of  one,  who  for 
a  long  time,  used  to  stand  at  the  door  of  the  great  mosque  at  Algiers, 
provided  with  a  cord,  which  he  continued  to  apply  to  the  neck  of 
some  devoted  wretch  for  several  successive  Fridays,  without  any  etibrt 
being  made  to  prevent  this  assas.sinating  mania,  until  a  number  of  in- 
oflensive  people  had  been  .strangled  by  the  wretch. 

On  another  occasion,  a  lady  returning  from  the  bath  was  seized 
by  a  Vaili,  and  publicly  exposed  to  the  greatest  indignity  ;  fortu- 
nately, however,  she  thought  herself  more  than  blessed  by  this  act  of 
sacred  condescension,  as  the  women  of  India,  who  are  favoured  by 
the  attention  of  their  idols  and  Brachmins.  Upon  this  occasion,  the 
Moorish  lady  was  surrounded  by  a  multitude  of  the  faithful,  who  rent 
the  air  with  shouts  of  joy,  and  warmly  felicitated  her  on  the  distin- 
guished honour  she  had  experienced  :  borne  in  triumph  to  her  hus- 
band, he  was  also  destined  to  receive  universal  congratulation  ;  and 
what  is  still  more,  join  in  the  exultation  of  his  friends  ! 

A  third  instance  of  this  savage  violence,  will  not  be  quite  so 
palatable  to  the  European  reader.— The  daughter  of  a  Christian 
resident  at  Algiers,  being  once  met  in  the  street  by  an  impostor  of 
the  above  tribe,  he  intimidated  her  companions  to  such  a  degree,  that 
they  were  glad  to  make  their  escape  ;  after  which,  delicacy  forbids  me 
to  repeat  the  dreadful  manner  in  which  the  monster  treated  the 
unhappy  object  of  his  rage.  Her  father,  who  was  a  merchant  of 
epu  enee  and  respectability,  had  immediate  recourse  to  the  Dey,  who, 
by  the  way  of  redress,  told  him  he  ought  to  consider  himself  fortunate 


that  his  daughter  was  likely  to  become  the  mother  of  a  saint,  ami 
thus  ended  the  whole  affair. 

Some  find  it  answer  their  purposes  of  delusion,  to  assume  the 
title  of  prophets,  in  addition  to  saintship  :  in  this  case,  they  make  a 
solemn  entry  into  the  city  on  horseback,  and  being  met  outside  the 
walls  by  an  immense  concourse  of  people,  are  preceded  by  streamers: 
these  assemblages  are  generally  attended  by  numbers  of  women,  who 
exert  themselves  in  common  with  the  men,  to  touch  the  saint,  or  kiss 
the  hem  of  his  garment  :  and  it  is  even  incredible  to  think  of  what  inde- 
licacies they  are  guilty  of,  to  attract  his  notice  :  looking  upon  every 
sacrifice  of  modesty,  as  justified  by  the  sanctified  occasion  which  calls 
it  forth  :  even  the  Dey  and  his  ministers,  as  well  as  the  besotted  popu- 
lace, are  frequently  made  subservient  to  the  views  of  these  prophesying 

It  is  in  this  country,  as  common  for  a  man  to  call  himself  a  saint, 
as  for  people  amongst  us  to  say,  "  I  am  a  smith,  carpenter,  lawyer, 
philosopher,  poet,  or  great  man  I"  And,  like  nobility  in  Europe, 
the  holiness  of  Mahometans  passes  from  father  to  son  ;  where  the 
latter  is  respected  equally  with  his  father,  because  he  possessed  the 
same  privileges,  dignity  and  titles. 

Those  of  the  saintly  brothers  who  follow  the  armies,  are  less 
tainted  with  fanaticism  than  timidity  ;  which  generally  forms  so  great 
a  share  in  their  character,  that  they  seldom  give  their  advice  in  favour 
of  attacking  the  enemy.  Owing  to  this  disposition,  the  hostile  armies 
remained  two  whole  months  in  sight  of  each  other,  during  the  late 
war  between  Tunis  and  Algiers,  without  a  droji  of  blood  being  shed. 
It  would  be  very  desirable  were  a  few  of  these  pacific  saints  to  accom- 
pany European  armies,  and  remain  in  the  cabinets  of  those  sovereigns 
who  have  rather  too  great  a  predilection  in  favour  of  war. 

Those  sanctified  barbarians,  who  are  so  generally  looked  up  to,  do 
not  all  possess  an  equal  degree  of  power  ;  nor  are  they  invoked  for  the 
same  object  :  many  supplicate  them  for  a  good  harvest;  while  others 
apply  for  a  successful  termination  of  their  military  enterprizes.    Theif 

278  MOOniSII    LAWYERS. 

are  some  also,  amongst  the  "  holy  men,"  to  whom  the  prayers  of  the 
ladies  are  tendered,  for  the  laudable  purpose  of  increasing  their 
families  :  these  invocations  are  conducted  with  great  vehemence  and 
secresy  ;  and,  as  may  be  easily  conceived,  are  seldom  made  in  vain, 
being  found,  generally,  to  produce  the  desired  effect.  It  is  by  this 
benign  interference  of  the  Barbary  saints,  that  many  despairing 
wives  unexpectedly  find  themselves  in  that  situation,  which  all  ladies 
wish  to  be,  who  love  their  lords  ! 

The  ìMoorish  doctors,  or  literati,  called  tdemas,  form  a  respect- 
able body  in  tliose  countries,  where  there  is  no  other  study,  except 
that  of  interpreting  the  Koran,  and  the  numerous  commentators  by 
whom  it  has  been  either  obscured  or  illustrated.  This  body  is  divided 
into  three  distinct  classes  :  the  minister  of  religious  woiship,  called 
imcuis;  doctors  of  the  law,  styled  the  mtrfli  ;  and  those  of  justice, 
called  cadi.  Each  city,  or  considerable  town,  has  its  mufti  ;  whose 
office  consists,  not  in  turning  the  precepts  and  decrees  of  the  Koran  to 
his  own  construction  of  law  ;  but  merely  announcing  what  they  are,  in 
a  clear  and  specitic  manner,  to  any  aggrieved  person,  w  ho  may  tind  it 
necessary  to  apply  for  justice.  The  decision  arising  out  of  this  appeal  to 
the  experience  and  wisdom  of  the  mufti,  is  cdWe&fethwa  :  each  citizen 
or  sulrject,  has  a  right  to  call  upon  the  above  officer,  and  obtain  his 
opinion  upon  all  matters  of  religion,  law,  or  morals,  in  which  his 
interests  or  happiness  may  be  involved,  without  incurring  one  farthing's 
expence  ;  and  the  judges  even  invite  suitors  of  every  kind  to  procure 
a  fethwa,  previous  to  their  appearing  in  a  court  of  justice.  This  has 
frequently  the  effect  of  putting  a  stop  to  unnecessary  litigation,  while 
it  serves  more  than  a  thousand  professions,  to  convince  the  people  of 
the  upright  integrity  of  the  magistrates  ;  and,  in  case  of  proceeding 
to  trial,  encourages  the  judge  to  give  his  sentence  in  perfect  conformity 
to  the  mufti's  opinion.*     These  means,  however  equitable  in  appear- 

*  This  short  account  of  the  law  officers  in  Barbary  might  be  very  profitably  studied  by 
some  Italian  judges  and  legislators  of  the  present  day,  particularly  thereof  a  certain  capital, 
not  two  hundred  miles  from  Pisa;  where  a  culprit  who  had  broken  into  the  lodgings  of  a 


ance,  are  said  to  be  only  efficacious  with  the  lower  classes  of  society  : 
because,  as  observed  by  an  intelligent  traveller,  the  occasional  injustice 
of  the  tribunals,  does  not  consist  in  the  application  of  the  law,  but 
the  mode  of  proving  and  ascertaining  facts.  The  party,  who  is  desirous 
of  prosecuting,  makes  out  a  written  and  anonymous  application  to  the 
mufti,  stating  his  case,  to  which  the  latter  generally  gives  a  laconic 
answer;  as,  "  it  can,  or  cannot  be  :"  "  it  is  lawful,  or  unlawful. '^  If 
the  question  should  be  altogether  new,  and  neither  the  Koran 
fethwas  or  precedents,  contained  in  the  books  of  former  iraans,  furnish 
a  I'ule  for  the  mui'ti,  he  dare  not  give  a  decided  opinion;  but  contents 
himself  by  declaring,  that  the  article  in  question  is  not  to  be  found 
in  any  of  the  canonical  books,  or  kufub  menterebc.  If  the  matter 
relates  to  an  affair  of  public  right,  the  mufti  calls  in  the  aid  of  the 
principal  ulemas  ;  all  of  whom  are  influenced  in  their  decision  by 
the  fethwa,  or  precedents  dictated  by  the  Koran,  and  other  legal 

The  mufti  always  dress  in  white  :  they  are  nominated  by  the 
Dey  ;  who  in  his  choice,  generally  selects  men  of  the  greatest  probity 
and  reputation  :  they  are  consulted  in  all  great  state  affairs,  nor  is 
any  thing  of  consequence  undertaken  without  their  approbation. 

The  imans,  or  priests,  are  charged  with  the  custody  and  direction 
of  the  mosques  :  they  must  not  only  be  well  versed  in  the  Koran,  but 
enjoy  an  untainted  reputation  before  they  are  admitted  to  the  sacred 
oflice  ;  and  are  generally  selected  from  those  who  are  employed  to  call 
the  people  together  from  the  towers  and  minarets,  at  the  different 
hours  of  prayer.  ^Vhenever  an  iman  dies,  the  populace  present  some 
one  to  the  Dey's  consideration,  who,  they  assin-e  his  highness,  is  every 

French  traveller  last  year,  and  robbed  him  of  money  and  clothes  to  a  large  amount  ; 
being  seized  with  some  of  the  stolen  property  concealed  on  his  person,  was  not  oalj  libe- 
rated without  prosecution,  but  suffered  to  retain  ray  friend  M.  De  V.'s  money  and  effects! 
One  of  the  reasons  assigned  by  1/  Signor  Presidente  de  la  Gran  Corte  Criminale,  for 
his  conduct  on  the  above  extraordinary  occasion  was,  that  of  there  not  being  witnesses 
to  prove  they  saw  the  thief  break  into  the  room,  and  take  the  property  in  question.  So 
much  for  the  administration  of  justice  in  Italy  ! — Ed. 

280  THE    MUFTI. 

way  qualified  to  succeed  the  deceased.  A  loud  and  sonorous  voice  is 
the  first  recommendation  a  candidate  for  this  station  can  possess  :  the 
Moors  are,  in  this  respect  like  our  peasantry,  who,  when  inclined  to 
praise  their  curate,  say  "-he  has  a  fine  voice."  The  mufti  have  no 
jurisdiction  over  the  imans,  nor  is  there  either  superiority  or  hierarchy 
amongst  the  Mahometan  priesthood.  The  Moors  do  not  imagine 
that  any  particular  distinction  can  attach  to  an  iman,  from  his  office  ; 
and  when  no  longer  invested  with  his  charge,  he  returns  to  an  indis- 
criminate mixture  with  the  community.  In  Ba.rhia.ry  semel  abbas  is  not 
always  abbas  ;  but  while  in  office,  and  di.scharging  its  duties  with 
fidelity,  they  enjoy  a  wonderful  degree  of  popularity  and  favour, 
both  with  the  people  and  government.  In  writing  to  the  imans,  the 
Dey  always  begins  by  the  following  expressions  :  "  Thou,  who  art 
the  glory  of  judges  and  wise  men  ;  who  art  the  treasure  of  knowledge, 
sanctity,   and  excellence,    &c." 

The  muezzin,  charged  with  the  office  of  calling  the  faithful  to 
pi-ayer,  and  nuezam,  or  public  exhortations,  also  form  another  vene- 
rable body  in  Algiers. 

The  prophet  calls  prayers  the  columns  of  religion  and  keys  of 
Paradise  :  these  must  be  repeated  five  times  during  the  twenty-four 
hours  ;  first  at  day-light,  the  second  at  noon,  and  so  on,  at  equal 
intervals,  till  an  hour  and  a  half  after  dark.  The  Turks  are  of 
opinion,  that  no  consideration  on  earth  should  deter  or  prevent  them 
from  this  sacred  duty  :  neither  the  orders  of  the  sultan,  to  extinguish 
a  fire  that  may  have  broke  out  in  their  own  dwelling,  or  repel  the 
assault  of  an  enemy  ;  being,  in  their  opinion,  sufficient  to  justify  their 

No  sooner  is  the  warning  from  the  minarets  heard,  than  all  the 
Mussnimen  instantly  quit  whatever  they  are  about,  and  falling  on 
their  knees,  seem  absorbed  in  the  most  profound  meditation.  The 
ezzun,  or  cry  of  the  Muezzins,  supply  the  place  of  bells,  which  are 
unknown  amongst  the  Mahometans.  The  sacred  heralds  thus 
appointed  to  summon  the  faithful  to  prayer,  are  usually  distinguished 

CALL   TO    PRAYERS.  281 

for  melodious  and  loud  voices  :  this  has  a  mvich  more  impressive  effect 
than  the  European  mode  of  announcing  similar  ceremonies.  Reach- 
ing the  highest  part  of  the  tower,  which  generally  dominates  the 
mosques,  the  mviezzin  shuts  his  eyes,  and  putting  his  hands  up  to  the 
ears,  turns  towards  the  east,  preparatory  to  the  ezzun's  being  vocife- 
rated. The  tranquillity  and  silence  which  prevail  where  carriages 
are  not  used,  render  it  easy  for  these  aerial  announcements  to  be 
heard  at  a  very  considerable  distance,  more  particularly  at  day-break. 
These  periodical  appeals  to  the  Mahometans,  struck  me  as  possessing 
a  considerable  share  of  grandeur  and  majesty.  A  pleasing  agitation 
is  created  in  the  mind,  when  at  early  dawn,  a  soft  and  impressive 
voice  repeats  these  sublime  but  simple  words:  "  Come  to  prayers; 
hasten  to  the  temple  of  health  ;  adoration  is  preferable  to  .sleep  !" 

After  each  prayer,  the  Musselman  has  recourse  to  his  rosarv, 
saying  at  the  first  bead,  "  O,  holy  God  !"  passing  to  the  second,  he 
repeats,  "  Praise  be  to  God  !"  at  the  third,  "  Great  God  1"  and  so  on 
till  the  ninety-nine  of  which  it  is  composed,  are  successively  counted. 
As  the  canonical  prayers  never  solicit  any  particular  favour  from  the 
Divinity,  when  over,  the  Mahometan  holds  his  hands  up  like  one 
who  is  in  the  act  of  receiving  something  from  above  :  after  this,  the 
right  is  applied  to  his  beard,  and  the  words,  God  be  praised!  repeated 
as  if  some  favour  had  been  actually  received  :  and  with  this  formula 
the  devotion  terminates.  When  circumstances  permit  of  it,  and  no 
mosque  is  near,  the  open  air  is  preferred  from  its  purity,  as  the  most 
proper  place  to  offer  up  prayers  ;  and  if  unprovided  with  the  mat, 
usually  carried  for  this  purpose,  the  haik  or  bernousse  is  spread  over 
the  .spot.  In  the  midst  of  those  numerous  puerilities  that  disgrace 
their  worship,  some  of  which  have  been  already  noticed,  there  are 
some  very  rational  and  praiseworthy  maxims  inculcated  by  the  Maho- 
metan faith  :  every  housekeeper  is,  for  example,  obliged  to  supply  a 
poor  man  with  a  measure  of  corn  or  flour  on  a  certain  day  of  the  month, 
while  it  is  also  customary  on  the  first  day  of  Bayram,  for  the  head  of 
each  family  to  kill  a  calf  or  goat  with  his  ow  n  hand,  and  having  pre- 
pared a  small  part  of  it  for  his  own  use,  the  rest  goes  to  the  neigh- 

282  THE    KORAN. 

bouring  poor  who  present  themselves.  Besides  the  above,  there  is  a 
still  more  important  obligation  imposed  on  all  true  believers,  that  of 
giving  up  to  the  poor  a  specific  proportion  of  their  whole  annual 
income:  this  is  called  the  tenth  alms-giving.  The  extraordinary  stress 
which  Mahomet  laid  on  this  benign  and  transcendent  virtue,  seems  to 
have  been  the  only  redeeming  quality  in  his  otherwise  sanguinary  cha- 
racter; and  while  all  must  deplore  the  fatal  influence  he  contrived  to 
obtain  over  so  large  a  portion  of  mankind,  none  can  deny  that  his 
charitable  institutions  were  worthy  of  a  much  better  cause. 

The  Koran,  commonly  styled  Alcoran  in  Europe,  is  the  sacred  book 
of  Musselmen,  which  inckides  all  the  precepts  of  their  imaginary  pro- 
phet. The  word  koran  signifies  reading,  or  that  which  ought  to 
be  read  ;  nor  is  there  I  believe  any  other  in  the  world  more  generally 
studied  :  the  followers  of  Islam  always  carry  it  about  their  persons  : 
thousands  are  constantly  employed  in  transcribing  it;  while  nothing 
else  is  meditated  on,  or  tliought  of  by  the  true  believers,  of  whom 
it  may  be  said  :  Timeo  lectorem  unius  libri.  Yet,  strange  to  leflect, 
this  book,  so  venerated  and  read  by  the  followers  of  Omar  and  Aly,  as 
well  as  all  the  other  sects  of  Mahometanism,  is  a  compilation  without 
order,  taste  or  dignity  :  the  very  title  placed  at  the  head  of  each  chapter, 
as,  The  Cow,  Ant,  and  Frog,  being  a  sufficient  indication  of  its  general 
absurdity.  It  gravely  inculcates  the  pursuit  of  trifles,  and  practice  of 
imbecility  :  full  of  fabulous  and  mimeaning  phraseology,  marked  by 
pompous  diction,  bombastic  metaphor,  and  inflated  style,  it  certainly 
boasts  a  few  good  moral  truths,  which  all  religious  legislators  have 
been  obliged  to  adopt,  to  ensure  the  approbation  of  their  followers,  as 
well  as  encourage  proselytism.  But  the  Alcoran,  without  being  sus- 
ceptible of  the  most  remote  comparison  with  the  sacred  books  of 
Christianity,  even  in  purity  of  doctrine  or  sublimity  of  morals,  is 
confessedly  far  inferior  to  the  Vedam  and  Ezourvedam  of  the  Hindoos, 
or  the  Zendevasta  of  Zoroaster  ;  and  above  all,  the  sublime  dogmas 
of  Confucius,  the  philosophic  legislator  of  the  Chinese. 

The  Koran,  similar  to  various  modern  productions  of  Europe,  is 
really  worthy  of  admiration  ;    not  within,  but  on  the  outside.     It  may 

THE    KORAN.  283 

be  compared  to  a  middling  picture,  ornamented  with  a  splendid  frame  : 
nothing-,  indeed,  can  exceed  the  richness  of  decoration  with  which  the 
book   of    Mahomet  is  every  where  covered  :    the  bindings  of  some 
copies  being  studded  with  diamonds  and  pearls  ;  while  the  very  bag- 
in  which  they  are  carried,  is  embroidered  with   the  greatest  care  :  the 
margins  too,  are  beautifully  illuminated,  and  covered  with  a  profusion 
of  gold  ;  like  many  of  the  ancient  codes  and  manuscripts  to  be  seen  in 
some  of  the  great   libraries  of  Europe.     I  saw  several  of  the  above 
description  while  at  Algiers,  and  should  have  most  willingly  made  the 
acquisition  of  one  or  two  ;    not  to  convert  their  contents  into  prayer, 
or  admire  the  son  of  Abdallah's  poetry,  but  for  the  sake  of  admiring 
these  charming  gilt  edges,  and  beautiful  hieroglyphics  !     Mahomet, 
both  as  a  prophet  and  poet,  would,  no  doubt,  disdain  to  have  his  books 
only  kept  for  purposes  so  unworthy  of  them  :    he  would   not,  how- 
ever, be  the  only  author,  and  more  especially  poet,  whose  books  were 
bought  for  no  other  end.    Dorat,  an  elegant  and  sprightly  French  poet, 
but  who  was  not  remarkable  for  much   solidity  in  his  compositions, 
which  were,  besides,  often  disfigured  by  aifectation  and  egotism,  caused 
a  splendid  edition  of  his  works  in  four  volumes,  with  engravings  by  the 
first  artists,  to  be  published  at  Paris.    Being  one  morning  in  his  book- 
seller's shop,  an  English  gentleman  came  in,  and,  in  a  loud  tone,  asked 
for  the  famous  edition  of  M.  Dorat's  works.     Upon  this,  the  poet  felt  a 
flush  of  joy  overspread  his  countenance,  and  growing  a  head  taller  at 
least,  already  contemplated  anode  in  praise  of  that  illustrious  people, 
who  alone  know  what  true  liberty  is;  and  amongst  whom  the  value 
of  talents  and  virtue  are  sure   to   be  appreciated.       3Iilord  Anglais 
having   enquired  the   price,  was  informed  it   was  four  louis  ;  upon 
which  the  money  was  instantly  put  down  :  and  when  the  bookseller 
begged  to  know  whether  he  could  send  them  to  the  purchaser's  hotel  ; 
the  latter  said,  it  was  quite  unnecessary,  as  he   could  take  them  home 
himself,  the  weight  being  a  mere  trifle  :  on  saying  this,  he  took  a  pair 
of  scissars,  and,  having  carefully  cut  out  all  the  plates  and  vignettes, 
put  them  into  his  pocket,  and  departed,    leaving  the  books  on  the 
counter.     It  is  needless  to  add,  that  Dorat  changed  his  tone,    and, 
CO  2 

284  THE    KORAN. 

thenceforth,  breathed  nothing  but  curses  on  the  proud  nation,  which 
was  ever  envious  of  French  talent,  and,  above  all,  incapable  of 
appreciating  the  merit  of  his  poetry  ! 

According  to  Musselmen,  the  Koran  contains  all  the  light  of 
knowledge  and  depth  of  wisdom  ;  while  those  who  deny  its  infalli- 
bility in  these  points,  are  inevitably  condemned  to  remain  buried  in 
everlasting  darkness  and  error.  The  importance  thus  attached  to 
their  great  rule  of  faith,  will  account  for  there  being  scarcely  any 
other  books  read  by  Mahometans,  than  the  interpretations  and  com- 
mentaries which  have  appeared  in  immense  numbers  on  the  sacred 
volume.  So  incredible  was  the  accumulation  of  commentaries,  even 
in  the  days  of  the  first  caliphs,  that  one  of  the  greatest  of  the  pro- 
phet's descendants,  impressed  with  a  due  sense  of  the  scandalous 
obscurity  into  which  so  many  enthusiastic  commentators  had  thrown 
the  whole  contents  of  the  Koran,  caused  more  than  two  hundred 
camels,  laden  with  the  impure  trash,  to  be  conveyed  to  the  banks  of 
the  Euphrates,  and  there  precipitated  their  precious  burthens  into 
the  stream.  Notwithstanding  the  above  very  wise  arrangement, 
innumerable  comments  are  still  in  existence,  and  are  continually 
increasing.  Why,  said  I,  one  day  to  a  ulema,  should  there  be  so 
many  comments  and  explanations  on  the  Koran?  Surely  they  nmst 
give  rise  to  great  confusion,  and  very  frequent  repetitions  of  the  same 
subject.  The  following  was  his  reply  :  "  there  is  no  other  method  of 
proceeding  in  the  arduous  path  of  knowledge  :  wisdom  is  only  com- 
municated to  the  mind  by  gradual  and  slow  degrees.  Every  sublime 
book  should  be  involved  in  mystery  and  darkness,  until  a  learned, 
and  well-intentioned  man  interprets  it;  a  second  wise  man  will  improve 
on  the  first  ;  and  a  third  upon  the  second  ;  and  thus  the  very  summit 
of  truth  is  finally  attained:  after  a  hundred,  two  hundred,  and  if  neces- 
sary a  thousand  commentators,  we  shall  arrive  at  a  perfect  elucidation 
of  the  Koran  in  all  its  splendor."  I  was  not  a  little  gratified  at  this 
luminous  display  of  eloquence,  and  did  not  fail  to  congratulate  the 
doctor  on  the  probable  result  of  going  on  with  commentaries  ;  which, 
though  somewhat   late,    it  must  be  confessed,  bid  fair  in   the   long 

THE    KORAN.  :Ì8'> 

course  of  centuries,  to  make  that  clear,  wliicli  is  still  completely 
unintelligible  to  the  profoundest  capacity .  Amongst  us,  it  is  to  be 
feared  that  there  has  been  no  small  degree  of  sympathy  operating 
with  those  who  have  laboured  to  explain  the  Koran  :  for  whether  we 
call  to  mind  the  various  attempts  made  to  elucidate  our  old  poets,  dra- 
matic works,  legal  writers,  or  derivation  of  languages;  many  have  only 
rentlered  darkness  more  visible,  by  their  pious  efforts  to  inform  the 
public.  I  doubt,  however,  if  the  glorious  uncertainty  into  which 
these  gentlemen  have  thrown  subjects,  extremely  simple  in  themselves, 
has  had  any  effect  in  diminishing  the  emolument  derived  from  their 
labours.  A  poet  having  once  produced  a  tragedy,  to  which  there 
seemed  to  be  neither  head  nor  tail,  or  any  clue  by  which  the  public 
could  divine  his  object,  was  reproved  for  having  expressed  him- 
self in  so  confused  a  style,  and  told  he  might  as  well  have  written  in 
Arabic,  as  far  as  the  audience  were  concerned;  answered,  "  so  much 
the  better,  people  will  come  the  second  night,  to  ascertain  the  mean- 
ing of  what  they  could  not  understand  during  the  previous  represen- 

*  This  reply  might  be  made  with  singular  propriety  by  some  modern  poets.  And 
those  who  have  arrogated  to  themselves  the  exclusive  privilege  of  directing  the  popular 
feeling  in  matters  of  theatrical  taste,  might,  with  equal  justice,  inscribe  it  over  the 
proscenium  of  more  theatres  than  one,  instead  of  Veluti  in  Speculum.  No  wonder  that 
people  should  call  those  degenerate  times,  in  which  Shakspeare,  Otway,  and  Dryden, 
Congreve,  Farquhar,  and  Sheridan  are  laid  on  the  shelf,  for  the  ignoble  purpose  of 
gaining  a  few  additional  pounds,  at  the  expeuce  of  that  patriotism  and  public  virtue 
which  it  should  ever  be  the  paramount  object  of  scenic  representation  to  inculcate. 
Impartial  men  generally  agree,  that  nothing  can  be  more  lamentable  than  the  melo- 
dramatic rage  which  has,  of  late  years,  taken  almost  undivided  possession  of  the  British 
stage,  so  rich  in  all  that  constitutes  moral  and  poetic  excellence.  This  is  certainly  not 
amongst  the  most  useful  continental  importations  ;  and  I  trust  the  period  is  not  very 
remote,  when  animated  by  a  more  liberal  and  disinterested  spirit,  patrons  and  managers 
will  not  only  unite,  to  restore  the  manly  and  pure  taste  of  their  predecessors,  but  establish 
theatres  in  which  it  will  not  be  necessary  to  sacrifice  the  purity  of  national  feelings  for  the 
base  lucre  of  private  emolument. — Ed. 



Nature  of  the  Algerine  Government. — Its  Character. —  The  Regency. — Divan. 
—Power  of  the  Dey. — His  Election,  and  Mode  of  conducting  it. — Attributes 
and  Prerogatives  of  the  Dey. — Method  of  administering  Justice. — Cause  of 
his  Popidarity. — Dangers  tvhich  environ  a  Dey''s  Person. — Anecdotes  of  some 
late  Chiefs. — Fascinations  of  Power  and  Ambition. — Reply  of  a  Polish 
Monarch. — Account  of  AH  Bassa,  the  reigning  Dey. — His  Death. — Anec- 
dotes.— Notice  of  AW s  Successor,  Mezouli. — Omar  Aga. —  The  Council  of 
State. — By  whom  it  is  generally  composed. — Effects  of  a  Deyh  being 
dethroned. —  Various  Political  Reflections. — Account  of  the  different  Officers 
composing  the  Dey's  Administration. — Mode  of  the  Consuls  applying  for 
Redress. — Description  of  inferior  Officers. — General  Character  of  the  Dey's 
Ministers.  —Remarks. — Anecdotes,  6fc. 

If  whatever  I  may  have  hitherto  said,  relative  to  the  government 
established  in  Algiers,  is  not  likely  to  have  created  a  very  favourable 
prepossession  in  its  favour  on  the  reader's  part,  the  following  hints 
are  still  less  calculated  to  induce  any  change  in  his  opinions.  A 
foreign  militia,  kidnapped  in  the  Turkish  states,  have  long  been 
suffered  to  usurp  all  the  political  power  of  the  regency  ;  and,  as  the 
melancholy  experience  of  past  times  has  amply  proved,  that  govern- 
ment which  is  formed  of  adventurers  and  soldiers  of  fortune,  is  very 
rarely,  if  ever,  conducted  on  any  other  principles  than  those  of  rapine 
and  violence.  In  such  a  state  of  things,  there  is  no  check  to  the 
inordinate  ambition  of  the  military  leader,  except  in  the  fear  of 
dethronement  or  assassination  ;  while  the  insidious  partizans  of  fac- 
tion easily  divide  the  turbulent,  who  are  destined  by  turns,  to  elect 


and  overturn  the  temporary  ruler  :  thus  rendering  the  very  ministers 
of  oppression,  victims  to  their  own  dangerous  principles  of  liberty. 
Despotism  has  ever  had  a  natural  tendency  to  unite  the  evils  of 
anarchy,  with  those  of  tyranny  ;  and,  as  may  be  readily  imagined, 
the  ferocious  soldiery  of  Algiers,  like  those  of  other  countries,  can 
only  delight  in  that  state  wherein  their  lawless  power,  and  sanguinary 
importance  has  once  been  exerted  :  deluded  by  a  criminal  love  of 
glory,  they  boast  of  that  freedom,  which  is  derived  from  the  fatal 
privilege  of  oppressing  the  multitude,  and  spreading  desolation 
around.  If  informed  that  they  would  be  more  happy  under  equitable 
laws  and  a  wise  government  ;  obeying  a  sovereign  whose  legitimacy 
was  derived  from  a  virtuous  determination  to  employ  his  sacred  autho- 
rity, for  the  maintenance  of  public  liberty  and  peace,  in  opposition 
to  violence  and  disorder  ;  they  would  answer  in  the  language  of  an  old 
Afghan  chief,  quoted  by  an  English  traveller  :  "  we  glory  in  discord, 
agitation,  and  blood;  nor  can  we  ever  love  a  master  !"  Under  the  iron 
hand  of  military  power,  and  foreign  oppression,  where  the  character 
of  the  government  includes  a  mixture  of  low  cunning,  hypocrisy, 
suspicion  and  cruelty,  the  enslaved  people  must  lose  every  sentiment 
of  honour  and  of  dignity.  It  has  been  well  and  truly  said,  that  a 
nation  of  savages,  who  may  be  led  into  the  commission  of  some 
crimes,  are  infinitely  better  than  a  civilized  people  incapable  of 

It  is  scarcely  necessary  to  add,  that  the  Algerine  government  is  a 
species  of  military  republic  ;  whose  head  exercises  despotism  in  its 
most  undisguised  form.  What  we  call  the  regency,  is  composed  of  a 
prince,  styled  Dey;  the  Turkish  Janizaries;  and  coimcil  of  state  formed 
by  the  principal  ministers,  called  Dowane,  known  by  the  title  of 
divan  in  Europe.  As  to  the  regency,  it  is  merely  an  empty  name  ; 
for  all  the  power  is  unequivocally  vested  in  the  supreme  chief  A 
driver  who  conducted  a  coach,  drawn  by  four  horses,  in  lashing  the 
leaders,  cried,  "  run,  go  on,  don't  be  overtaken  ;"  and  to  the  others, 
"  exert  yourselves,  or  you'll  be  left  behind  ;"  was  asked  by  a  person 

288  ELECTION    OF   THE    DEY. 

who  heard  him,  "  why  do  you  deceive  the  poor  animals  with  such  tine 
talking?  Don't  you  see  they  are  in  harness,  and  cannot  go  from  each 
other  ?"  "  I  know  it,"  replied  the  coachman;  "  but  in  the  meantime, 
I  carry  the  whip,  the  vehicle  advances,  and  finally  arrives." 

The  government  of  Algiers  cannot  be  called  a  mixed  one,  although 
it  is  certainly  composed  of  all  the  worst  qualities  which  can  appertain 
to  the  most  vitiated  forms.  The  chief  is  almost  invariably  elected 
amidst  assassination  and  crime  :  stimulated  by  democratic  violence  in 
its  most  hideous  shape,  the  prince  is  invested  with  unlimited  power  ; 
while  an  insolent  aristocracy  is  ever  ready  to  support  his  iniquitous 
proceedings;  the  whole  forming  a  military  domination,  with  its 
inseparable  abuses,  accumulated  violence,  and  brutal  ferocity. 

The  Dey  originally  springs  from  the  Turkish  soldiery,  always 
obtaining  his  rank  by  election,  and  not  hereditary  succession,  which 
is  unknown  in  this  regency. 

On  the  demise  of  his  chief,  each  soldier  proceeds  to  the  palace, 
and  oiFers  his  vote  in  favour  of  the  new  candidate  whom  he  wishes  to 
elevate  to  the  vacant  dignity  ;  and  if  the  latter  is  not  approved  by 
all,  he  is  excluded  :  the  ballot  continuing  until  one  alone  obtains  the 
undivided  suffi-ages.  According  to  Falstaff',  "  some  are  born  great, 
while  others  have  greatness  thrust  upon  them."  Tlie  elected,  whether 
he  wishes  it  or  not,  must  become  dey  ;  because  all  that  happens  on 
earth,  was  pre-ordained  above,  and  mortals  are  not  permitted  to  resist 
the  decrees  of  Heaven.  By  the  same  rule,  any  one  who  thinks  his 
party  sufficiently  powerful,  may  depose  the  newly  elected  chief;  and 
after  assassinating  him,  occupy  his  place  with  impunity  :  as  this  was 
also  predestinated,  and  must  have  taken  place  on  earth. 

It  can  be  easily  conceived,  that  these  elections,  where  the  entire 
unanimity  of  a  licentious  soldiery  is  required,  must  be  conducted  with 
the  fury  of  the  most  violent  factions  :  when,  therefore,  a  considerable 
majority  has  invested  one  of  their  own  members  with  the  new  office, 
the  malcontents  generally  collect  in  another  quarter  of  the  palace; 
and,  having  become  sufficiently  numerous,  conspire  against  the  recently 


appointed  chief;  rushing'  into  the  hall  of  audience,  he  is  instantly 
dispatched,  and  the  leader  of  the  plot,  whose  hands  are  stained  by 
his  blood,  assumes  the  royal  mantle  ;  leaving  the  terrified  spectators 
no  alternative  between  silent  submission  and  a  similar  fate.  At 
another  time,  the  Janizaries,  who  remain  tumultuously  assembled  in 
the  Cassarias,  send  a  herald  to  the  Dey,  with  orders  to  quit  the  palace  ; 
and  planting  themselves  in  the  avenues  leading  to  it,  he  no  sooner 
obeys  the  summons,  than  his  head  is  struck  ofi".  Upon  some  occasions, 
recourse  is  had  to  poison,  or  he  is  assassinated  in  going  to  the  mosque. 
It  frequently  happens,  that  a  bold  and  sanguinary  member  of  the 
divan,  will  strike  him  down  in  the  midst  of  his  officers;  and  even 
contrive  to  maintain  his  usurped  authority,  with  the  very  scimitar 
which  has  severed  the  head  of  his  predecessor  :  thus  establishing  a 
series  of  crimes  on  the  successful  perpetration  of  the  first.  These 
ferocious  rivals  in  violence  and  rapacity,  whose  election  takes  place 
in  the  midst  of  tumult  and  blood,  seldom  fail  to  adopt  the  well-known 
maxim  of  a  Tartary  chief:  "  If  you  wish  to  keep  the  state  in  repose, 
let  the  sword  of  vengeance  be  constantly  braudishing  !" 

The  ceremonies  which  follow  a  new  election  do  not  occupy  much 
more  time  than  the  event  itself.  These  merely  consist  of  the  fortunate 
candidate's  being  covered  with  the  caftan,  which  is  the  ermined  robe 
of  Algiers  ;  and  when  seated  on  the  cushion  of  state,  he  is  saluted  by 
the  .soldiers  crying, — "  We  consent:  be  it  so  :  God  send  him  pros- 
perity !"  He  is  then  proclaimed  by  the  chief  mufti,  who  reads  aloud 
the  obligation  imposed  by  his  office,  reminding  him  that  God  having 
called  him  to  the  government  of  the  republic,  his  authority  should  be 
employed  to  punish  the  guilty,  and  execute  justice  with  impartiality; 
to  benefit  the  state,  provide  for  its  internal  security,  and  cause  the 
soldiery  to  be  regularly  paid.  This  done,  the  principals  kiss  hands  ; 
the  attendant  Janizaries  .salute  their  new  master,  whose  elevation  is 
announced  to  the  people  by  frequent  discharges  of  cannon  ;  and  thus 
ends  the  ceremony. 

p  p 

290  FIRST    EFFECTS    OF    POWER. 

The  first  step  generally  taken  by  an  Algerine  chief  after  his 
election,  is  that  of  immediately  changing  all  the  officers  of  govern- 
ment, by  putting  in  creatures  of  his  own,  and  others  who  may  have 
been  most  active  in  contributing  to  his  elevation.  Not  contented  with 
displacing  his  enemies  or  rivals,  the  new  Dey  frequently  causes  all 
the  ministers  of  his  predecessor  to  be  strangled  ;  takes  possession  of 
their  treasures  ;  receives  large  presents  from  those  who  are  nominated 
to  succeed  them  ;  and  by  thus  enriching  himself,  he  is  enabled,  by 
a  well-timed  show  of  munificence  amongst  the  soldiery,  at  once  to 
increase  his  party  and  consolidate  his  power.  Ali  Dey,  who  was 
elected  after  the  tragical  death  of  Ibrahim,  surnamed  the  Madman, 
caused  no  less  than  seventeen  hundred  individuals  to  be  massacred  on 
his  accession  to  power.  The  universal  murmuring  of  the  people  had 
no  efi'ect  on  this  monster  ;  who,  being  determined  to  satiate  his 
sanguinary  disposition,  invented  the  story  of  a  conspiracy  against  his 
person,  which  was  merely  a  pretext  for  deluging  the  streets  of 
Algiers  with  blood. 

The  head  of  a  government  like  the  above,  never  looks  upon  him- 
self as  being  raised  to  power  by  the  esteem  or  alFections  of  the  people. 
With  him,  the  sovereignty  is  considered  as  the  result  of  his  own  per- 
sonal exertions,  and  previous  destiny  :  no  wonder,  therefore,  that  his 
administration  should  be  little  more  than  a  counterpart  of  what  we 
have  witnessed  in  all  those  countries,  where  the  triumphant  chief  of 
a  faction  has  been  invested  with  temporary  power. 

It  was  originally  intended,  that  the  Deys  should  only  retain  their 
office  for  six  months  at  a  time  ;  but  those  who  get  wealth  or  power 
once  into  possession,  are  seldom  disposed  to  surrender  it  :  at  first,  this 
officer  was  only  the  Grand  Seignor's  viceroy,  commanding  a  species  of 
military  aristocracy  ;  but  gradual  encroachments,  at  length,  enabled 
him  to  establish  an  independent  domination.  Although  his  election 
is,  both  in  spirit  and  form,  modelled  on  that  of  the  most  democratic 
republic,  nothing  can  exceed  the  despotic  manner  in  which  his  reign 

DUTIES   OF    THE    DEV.  ■><»  | 

is  conducted.  The  title  assumed  in  all  public  acts,  is  that  of  Excel- 
lency :  this  is  also  given  by  his  former  companions  in  arms  ;  while 
he  is  styled,  Sultan  of  the  Moors,  and  Majesty,  by  strangers. 

The  Dey's  expressed  prerogative  extends  to  the  right  of  declaring 
war  and  making  peace  ;  assembling  the  divan  whenever  he  thinks 
proper  ;  imposing  taxes  and  tribute  ;  regulating  all  public  affairs, 
except  those  of  religion,  and  appointing  his  own  officers:  he  is  also 
the  supreme  judge  in  all  causes,  whether  civil  or  criminal,  without 
being  obliged  to  give  an  account  to  any  one  of  his  decrees.  To  resist 
which,  is  like  that  of  opposing  fate  itself.  Believing  his  power  to  be 
derived  from  Heaven,  it  follows  that  such  a  favour  must  have  been 
accompanied  with  a  large  stock  of  wisdom  ;  and  this  is  frequently 
employed  to  crush  those  who  were  not  long  before  his  dearest  friends 
or  most  intimate  companions.* 

The  principal  occupation  of  a  Dey  consists  in  his  being  seated 
at  the  extremity  of  a  large  hall  for  several  hours  daily,  for  the  pur- 
pose of  administering  justice  to  the  multitude.  His  throne,  or  chair 
of  state,  is  composed  of  bricks  and  marble,  first  covered  with  carpets, 
and  then  a  lion's  skin  over  all.  To  this  place  the  chief  magistrate 
repairs,  immediately  after  the  chabd,  or  first  morning  prayer,  and 
remains  there  till  the  dinner  hour  at  eleven  o'clock  ;  and  returning 
about  noon,  continues  at  his  post  till  sun-set.  Audience  is  given 
every  day  in  the  week,  except  Tliursday,  which  is  devoted  to  his 
domestic  concerns  ;  and  Friday,  the  Sabbath,  is  chiefly  passed  in  devo- 
tional exercises  at  the  great  mosque.  While  in  the  judgment  seat, 
the  meanest  individual  has  free  access  to  his  highness  :  in  deciding 

*  A  man  of  rank  being  elevated  to  the  chief  magistracy,  one  of  his  old  friends,  who 
came  to  offer  his  congratulations,  thus  addressed  him  ;  "  You  were  once  my  equal  and 
even  inferior  :  at  present  all  praise  you,  and  henceforth  none  will  dare  to  tell  you  the  truth  ; 
I  shall,  therefore,  do  so  for  the  last  time  :  you  are  ambitious,  vain,  obstinate,  full  of  grovel- 
ling passions,  and  only  fond  of  being  surrounded  by  buffoons  and  flatterers.  But  you  have 
become  a  great  personage  ;  I  shall  never  have  another  opportunity  of  telling  you  this  truth, 
and  now  throw  myself  at  your  feet." 

p  p  2 

•292  DUTIES    OF    THE    DEY. 

causes,  the  Hogas,  or  secretaries,  attend  on  each  side  to  note  the  pro- 
ceedings, and  write  down  his  decrees  ;  while  officers,  called  Bachiaux, 
are  close  to  his  elbow  to  receive  orders,  and  see  the  sentences  promptly 
put  into  execution  :  all  the  members  of  administration  are  constantly 
on  the  spot,  and  near  each  other,  so  as  to  ensure  an  easy  and  quick 
communication  for  the  dispatch  of  business.  ^Vliile  issuing  his 
decrees  in  the  hall  of  justice,  the  Dey's  principal  ministers  are  assem- 
bled in  an  opposite  room  ;  the  inferior  officers  are  ranged  along,  on 
banks  at  the  door  of  the  palace,  so  that  an  applicant  who  arrives,  has 
no  difficulty  whatever  in  immediately  finding  the  person  he  wants. 
And  iipon  the  whole,  I  was  particularly  struck  with  the  method, 
celerity,  and  I  will  add,  extreme  zeal  with  which  the  most  trifling 
concerns  of  the  regency  were  conducted  at  the  Pascialick. 

The  office  of  Dey  is  far  from  being  a  bed  of  roses.  A  private 
individual  having  been  elevated  to  the  first  dignity  in  the  state,  was 
congratulated  by  a  friend  on  his  recent  exaltation  :  "  Rather  pity  me," 
said  he  :  "I  only  felt  my  own  wants  before  ;  but  I  now  feel  tliose  of 
all  my  subjects  !" 

Nor  has  a  Barbary  chief  much  time  to  languish  in  idleness  or 
inactivity.  Amongst  the  singular  customs  of  Abyssinia,  it  is  related 
that  the  doors  and  windows  of  the  king's  palace  are  always  crowded 
by  people  who  keep  up  a  continued  howling  and  lamentation  ;  crying 
out  at  intervals,  for  pemiission  to  be  admitted  to  the  presence  of  the 
Ras  or  prince,  to  obtain  justice  for  the  injuries  they  have  received. 
If  there  happens  not  to  be  a  sufficient  number  of  real  suflerers, 
fictiti«ius  ones  are  hired  to  cry  and  lament  in  their  stead.  All  tliis  is 
for  the  honour  of  his  majesty,  and  to  prevent  the  possibility  of  his 
being  abandoned  to  indolence  or  devoured  by  lassitude.  Bruce 
relates,  that  often,  while  shut  up  in  his  dwelling  during  the  rainy 
season,  several  poor  wretches  were  in  the  habit  of  regularly  coming 
to  groan  and  supplicate  at  his  door  ;  and  on  enqiuring  the  cause,  he 
was  informed,  they  merely  came  to  pay  him  a  compliment,  and  pre- 
vent his  falling  into  idleness  or  melancholy  ;  and  lioped  he  would  let 

DANGERS    OF    THE    REIUNING    DEY.  293 

them  have  something  to  drink  that  they  might  renew  their  lamentation 
with  redonbled  vigour  !  It  is  much  the  same  at  the  Dey  of  Algiers' 
palace,  where  a  continued  round  ot"  applications  for  redress,  give 
rise  to  a  degree  of  vigilance  and  activity,  which  is,  above  all  other 
considerations,  calculated  to  increase  the  popularity  of  government, 
rendering  the  chief,  as  it  were,  necessary  to  his  subjects  ;  who,  seeing 
themselves  and  their  concerns,  objects  of  incessant  employnient  to  the 
prince,  feel  perfectly  convinced  that  he  must  be  governing  with 
justice.  On  his  part,  the  Dey  is  fully  aware  that  he  is  conducting 
the  vessel  of  state  in  the  midst  of  rocks  and  tempests  ;  the  perils  of 
which  can  only  be  avoided,  by  holding  the  helm  with  a  tirm  and 
steady  hand.  This  is  one  of  the  great  causes  of  public  tranquillity, 
as  well  as  that  apparent  security  in  which  an  Algerine  despot  con- 
tinues to  administer  public  affairs,  while  a  volcano  is  ever  ready  to 
burst  forth  at  his  feet. 

A  sovereign,  having  once  complained  to  an  oriental  sage  of  the 
weary  vigils  with  which  his  nights  were  lengthened,  leceived  the 
following  advice  : — "  If  you  slumber  less  on  your  throne,  Oking! 
you  will  sleep  better  in  your  bed." 

Notwithstanding  the  Dey's  unlimited  authority  and  excessive 
power,  he  is  surrounded  with  innumerable  dangers:  the  failure  of  an 
expedition,  a  long  peace,  which  is  sure  to  annoy  liis  rapacious  fol- 
lowers ;  a  doubt,  on  their  part,  that  the  most  scrupulous  impartiality 
has  not  been  observed  in  the  distribution  of  plunder  ;  the  smallest 
delay  in  paying  the  troops,  is  quite  sufficient  to  inflame  the  turbulent 
Janizaries,  and  create  a  tumidt  which  has  often  been  known  to  termi- 
nate the  life  and  power  of  a  Barbary  chief,  in  the  course  of  a  few 
hours.  On  these  occasions,  it  is  in  vain  to  supplicate  a  moment's 
grace,  or  attempt  to  soften  the  callous  hearts  of  his  executioners  with 
promises  of  future  moderation  :  his  fate  being  once  decided  on,  there 
is  no  appeal.  "  He  was  the  Dey  :  he  has  reigned  ;  but  he  can  reign 
no  longer,  and  must  die."  The  throne  in  this  country  is  truly 
Ulte  belle  place  mais  qui  n'a  pas  de  sortie.     It  is  much  more  easy  to 


ascend  dangerous  heights,  than  come  down  again  when  once  arrived 
at  their  summit. 

It  is  not  many  years  since  the  caprice  of  fortune  caused  the  eleva- 
tion of  a  schoohnaster  to  the  office  of  Dey  :  more  happy  in  swaying 
the  rod  than  the  sceptre,  he  had  no  ambition  beyond  the  precincts 
of  his  school,  nor  ever  dreamed  of  ascending  the  throne  of  majesty. 
But  being  elected,  there  was  no  alternative  ;  and  having  had  the  mis- 
fortune to  displease  the  soldiery  by  his  mildness  and  love  of  peace,  he 
received  the  fatal  message  to  quit  the  palace,  and  instantly  obeying 
with  a  pallid  and  trembling  look,  .solicited  leave  to  return  to  his 
pupils,  and  pass  the  rest  of  his  days  in  trancpiil  retirement.  "  That 
cannot  be  :  it  is  not  the  custom,"  replied  one  of  the  conspirators  : 
"  you  were  the  Dey  ;  have  been  deposed  ;  and  cannot  be  sutfered  to 

One  of  the  late  chiets,  who  was  summoned  to  leave  the  palace, 
attempted  to  save  himself  by  escaping  over  the  terraces  ;  but  a  Jani- 
zary picked  him  off  with  his  carbine,  and  he  fell  dead  into  the  street. 
It  often  happens,  that  an  entire  reign  does  not  exceed  a  few  hours. 
On  the  high  road,  outside  one  of  the  city  gates,  there  are  seven  stones 
to  be  seen  ranged  along.  These  are  the  ignoble  graves  of  as  many 
chiefs,  elected  and  assassinated  on  the  same  day.« 

It  is  so  extremely  rare  for  a  Dey  to  die  in  his  bed,  that  whenever 
such  a  phenomenon  occurs,  as  in  the  case  of  Hassan  Ba.ssa,  he  is 
venerated  and  numbered  amongst  the  saints.  Referring  to  the  prin- 
ciples of  action  which  influence  these  chiefs,  it  is  almost  superfluous 

*  The  Caliph  Abdalmelick,  who  conquered  Abdallah,  Lord  of  Mecca,  and  dethroned 
Masaab,  his  brother,  being  in  the  castle  of  Confa,  when  the  latter's  head  was  brought  in  ; 
an  Arab,  near  his  person,  smiled  in  such  a  significant  manner,  as  to  make  it  appear  there 
was  a  profound  thought  connected  with  it.  The  Caliph  asked,  what  he  was  thinking 
about;  to  this  the  Arab  replied,  that  he  was  reflecting  on  this  being  the  fourth  head  he  had 
•seen  brought  into  the  castle  :  having  recapitulated  the  names  of  those  who  had  lost  them, 
without  any  farther  comment,  the  lesson  was  not  lost  on  the  Caliph,  who,  in  order  to 
prevent  the  melancholy  presentiments  to  w  hich  it  gave  rise,  immediately  quitted  the  castle, 
and  even  caused  it  to  be  demolished. 

INDIFFERENCt:    AT    THK    PATE    OF   A    DEY.  295 

to  add,  that  neither  the  interests  or  will  of  the  people  is  ever  considered 
by  them  for  a  moment.  Men,  in  the  Barbary  states,  can  only  be 
compared  to  beasts  of  burthen,  who  are  attached  to  the  despot's  car. 
Hence  we  may  easily  trace  the  cause  of  that  indifference,  which  any 
one  feels  towards  the  fate  of  a  sovereij^n,  who  commands  from  motives 
of  selfishness  and  personal  aggrandizement.  In  all  those  convulsions, 
which  agitate  the  government  of  Barbary,  the  Moors  look  on  as 
passive  spectators  ;  while  it  would  be  ridiculous  for  a  Dey,  whose  life 
is  menaced  by  the  faction  of  the  hour,  to  recur  to  the  affections,  or 
call  for  the  assistance  of  his  subjects. 

II  popol  dunque  a  mio  favor  ?  Che  speri 
Che  in  cuor  di  serva  plebe  odio  ed  amore 
Possa  eternarsi  mai  ?     Dai  lunghi  ceppi 
Guasta,  avvilita,  or  l'un  tiranno  vede 
Cadere,  or  sorger  l'altro  ;  e  nullo  l'ama, 
E  a  tutti  serve  ;  ed  un  Atride  oblia, 
E  d'un  Egisto  trema .* 

A  Dey's  life  would  be  comparatively  secure,  if  he  had  only  to 
apprehend  the  discontent  or  revolt  of  the  people  :  the  swords  mostly 
to  be  feared,  are  those  which  immediately  surround  the  thrones  of 
despotism  :  yet  such  is  the  irresistible  influence  of  ambition  in  the 
human  heart;  there  is  so  much  gratification  in  the  idea  of  superiority, 
that  it  would  seem,  people  breathe  a  purer  air  in  these  higher  regions 
of  worldly  dignity,  where  man  so  frequently  thinks  the  lightning 
and  tempest  cannot  overtake  him.     Power  is  even  said,  to  enable  its 

■  Dost  hope  that  in  the  heart 
Of  the  base  people,  hatred  or  regard 
Can  ever  be  perpetuated  ?     Spoil'd, 
Degraded  ;  now  it  sees  one  tyrant  fall 
And  now  another  rise  :  not  one  it  loves, 
And  yields  to  all  ;  forgets  an  Agamemnon, 
At  an  .(Egisthus  trembles. 

Lloyd's  Alfieri,  Orestes,  Act II.  Scene: 

296  ALI    BASSA. 

possessor  to  appreciate  those  objects  it  looks  down  upon,  more  justly 
than  other  people  ;  while  every  word  and  action  accpiires  weight  and 
importance,  in  proportion  as  the  author  is  elevated  above  his  fellow 
men.  Such,  in  fact,  is  the  effect  of  power,  that  the  being  whom 
fortune  raises  to  grandeur  and  dignities,  is  no  longer  able  to  see  the 
dangers  by  which  he  is  environed.  If  you  asked  a  Turkish  soldier, 
whether  he  would  consent  to  be  elected  for  three  days,  though  sure  of 
decapitation  the  fourth;  your  offer  would  be  gladly  accepted:  besides, 
they  encourage  an  idea,  that  all  the  deys  become  saints  after  death. 

Philosophers,  who  are  simple,  and  of  little  experience  in  such 
matters,  entertain  very  different  notions  of  power  and  ambition  ;  but 
he  whose  lip  has  touched  the  enchanted  cup,  who  has  been  inebriated 
by  the  fumes  of  that  fascinating  incense,  can  never  afterwards  taste 
another  joy.  A  Polish  chief  once  recommended  his  sovereign  to  shew 
a  generous  example  of  magnanimity,  by  descending  from  his  throne, 
and  becoming  a  citizen.  "  Such  is  your  idea,"  replied  his  master; 
"  because  you  are  a  private  individual.  But  I,  who  am  a  king,  ought 
to  think  very  differently  :  the  throne  is  not  the  <^nme  kind  of  thing, 
when  viewed  from  below,  as  it  is  seen  by  those  who  have  it  in  pos- 

The  Dey  who  reigned  when  I  went  to  Algiers,  or  move  properly 
speaking,  was  carried  there,  called  himself  Ali  Bassa  ;  to  which 
was  added  the  title  of  Haggi,  assumed  by  all  those  who  have  visited 
the  holy  city  of  Arabia.  Ali  had  made  the  pilgrimage  no  less  than 
three  times  ;  and  was  consequently  regarded  as  a  saint  :  he  was,  never- 
theless, a  most  fanatical  Musselman  ;  the  bitterest  enemy  of  Chris- 
tians :  he  never  omitted  the  most  trifling,  or  superstitious  practices  of 
his  own  sect,  nor  lost  any  opportunity  of  gratifying  an  act  of  ven- 
«i^eance,  in  which  he  always  seemed  to  take  particular  delight.  In 
addition  to  the  most  scrupulous  attentions  to  his  daily  ablutions  and 
prayers,  it  appeared  to  be  an  article  of  faith  with  Ali,  to  bathe  him- 
self occasionally  in  human  blood  :   hence,  the  frequent  assassinations 

CHARACTER    OP    ALI    BASSA.  297 

tliat  marked  his  reign,  and  gave  rise  to  an  opinion,  amongst  his 
devoted  snbjects,  that  he  was  by  far  the  most  sanguinary  tyrant  who 
had  ever  governed  in  Algiers. 

Haggi  Ali  Bassa  was  about  fifty-five  years  of  age,  with  stout 
limbs,  and  tolerably  well  shaped;  but  his  physiognomy  plainly  indicated 
a  mind  corroded  by  the  worst  jiassions  :  in  him,  you  beheld  a  man 
wrapped  up  in  his  own  black  and  gloomy  thoughts  ;  and  as 
Tacitus  observed  of  a  Roman  emperor,  "  vi  dominationis  convulsns  et 
commutatus.''  The  most  terrific  stories  were  related  of  this  man's 
cruelties  :  he  once  condemned  a  lad  of  fourteen  years  old  to  death, 
for  having  merely  left  a  small  stone  in  some  rice  intended  for  soup. 
One  day,  while  seated  in  the  hall  of  justice,  a  chiaux  or  messenger 
came  up,  and  whispered  something  in  his  ear  :  the  Dey  made  a  sign 
with  his  hand,  and  in  a  few  minutes,  five  bleeding  heads  were  brought 
in  by  as  many  executioners  !  They  belonged  to  some  rich  Moors, 
who  were  snspected  of  holding  seditious  conversation  in  a  neighbour- 
ing coffee-house. 

In  1814,  he  had  ruled  seven  years  ;  an  exceedingly  long  reign  for 
an  Algerine  dey;  and  which  he  entirely  owed  to  his  unceasing  vigi- 
lance, and  prompt  execution  of  that  vindictive  spirit,  which  left  no 
respite  to  his  enemies  when  once  discovered,  or  even  suspected.  Seve- 
ral conspiracies  had  only  the  efl^ect  of  consolidating  his  power;  but 
a  long  peace  with  Spain  and  Portugal,  having  displeased  the  unquiet 
spirits  of  tlie  divan,  they  succeeded  in  exciting  a  general  feeling  of  dis- 
content amongst  the  soldiery  ;  and  this  was  soon  followed  by  a  powerful 
faction,  which  openly  expressed  its  dis.satisfaction  and  hostility  to  the 
tyrant.  The  capture  of  our  vessel,  afforded  Haggi  Bassa  an  oppov.- 
tunity  of  dispensing  some  valuable  donations  amongst  the  soldiers  aixl 
members  of  the  divan;  which  may  have  given  temporary  support  to 
his  throne  of  blood.  But  the  already  vacillating  .state  of  Ali's  health, 
was  rendered  still  more  dangerous,  by  the  internal  workings  of  his  own 
distempered  mind  ;  which  seemed  to  threaten   a  speedy  dissolution. 

Q  Q 

298  DEATH    OF   ALI    BASSA. 

M.  de  Laiigle,  who  published  an  account  of  his  travels  through 
Spain,  observes  in  noticing  his  Catholic  Majesty,  the  excellent 
Charles  III.  "  The  king  is  adored,  and  it  must  be  on  this  account, 
that  he  enjoys  such  good  health  :  nothing  is  so  salutary  to  a  sovereign 
as  that  of  being  popular  amongst  his  subjects." 

Although  menaced  with  approaching  death,  by  the  state  of  his 
health,  Providence  seems  to  have  decided  that  Ali  should  not  perish 
in  the  ordinary  course  of  nature  :  he  was  poisoned  by  his  black  cook, 
who  having  probably  remembered  the  boy's  fate,  gave  his  highness 
a  pill  that  was  not  quite  so  easy  of  digestion  as  the  pebble  which  gave 
rise  to  the  former's  cruel  condemnation.  A  young  page  having  once 
had  the  misfortune  to  spill  a  little  water  on  the  roljes  of  a  caliph  of 
Bagdad,  so  enraged  his  master,  that  he  was  instantly  condemned  to  lose 
his  head  ;  upon  which,  he  took  up  a  dish  full  of  gravy,  and  emptied  its 
contents  all  over  the  tyrant.  "  Wretch!  how  dare  you  offer  such  an 
indignity,  and  thus  insult  my  august  person  V  exclaimed  the  furious 
caliph.  "Great  commander  of  the  believers,"  replied  the  page; 
"  what  would  posterity  say,  when  informed  that  you  had  condemned 
me  to  an  ignominious  death,  for  having  unfortunately  suffered  a  drop 
of  water  to  fall  on  your  garment  I  At  present,  that  I  am  guilty  of  a 
great  crime,  in  pouring  the  contents  of  a  dish  over  the  sacred  head  of 
your  excellency,  it  will  be  said,  that  so  great  a  prince  did  not  abandon 
himself  to  the  last  extremity  of  violence,  for  a  trilling  cause;  and  if 
rigour  was  used,  it  was  justified  by  the  occasion."  Ali's  cook  seeiiied 
to  be  actuated  by  a  similar  motive  ;  and  determined,  that  if  his  master 
had  time  to  revenge  the  attempt,  it  should  not  be  for  a  trifle.  But, 
af  it  happened,  that  was  not  the  case  ;  and  on  the  joyful  event's  being 
a?,nounced,  an  old  officer  of  the  Janizaries  was  elected  for  the  time 
being  ;  and  though  he  succeeded  Ali,  he  did  not  replace  him  ;  being 
merely  set  up  until  a  candidate  more  worthy  of  the  throne  could  be 
found.  This  was  soon  furnished  in  the  person  of  Omar  Aga  ;  whose 
transient  predecessor  had  his  head  taken  off,  according  to   custom. 

ELEVATION    OF    OMAR    AGA.  29ii 

As  to  Haggi  Ali  Bassa,  as  may  be  supposed,  his  death  was  not 
very  deeply  lamented  :  conformably  to  an  old  proverb,  he  that  would 
reap  tears,  must  sow  love. 

The  chief  cause  of  Omar  Aga's  elevation,  arose  from  his  late 
brilliant  success  in  an  expedition  to  the  mountains  of  Couco,  directed 
against  the  inhabitants  of  that  warlike  dislrict.  Omar  was  then  about 
forty-five,  and  one  of  the  handsomest  men  in  the  regency  ;  possessing 
extraordinary  talents,  intrepidity  and  resolution.  While  in  command 
of  the  troops,  and  employed  on  service,  he  was  foremost  in  every 
enterprize  :  his  pleasing  manners,  constant  presence,  and  easy 
vivacity,  had  made  him  the  idol  of  his  inferiors,  and  soul  of  the  divan  : 
all  which  seemed  to  point  him  out  as  Ali's  successor.  It  is  not,  there- 
fore, surprising,  that  the  latter  should  have  long  regarded  Omar  Aga 
with  an  eye  of  jealousy  ;  and  he  was  once  even  induced  to  send  the 
bachiaux,  or  principal  executioner  to  destroy  him  ;  but  the  resolute 
chief  was  not  disposed  to  jield  ;  and  retiring  into  one  of  the  cassa- 
rias,  dared  his  adversary  to  advance.  Upon  this,  the  minister  of  ven- 
geance desisted  ;  and,  like  the  Cimbrian  soldier,  who  was  terrified  by 
the  petrifying  aspect  of  Marius,  felt  himself  incapable  of  following 
up  the  orders  of  his  master.  Having  surmounted  this  difficulty, 
Omar  proved  that  he  was  equal  to  the  most  trying  emergencies  ;  while 
reverses  and  misfortunes  only  seemed  to  increase  the  fiery  ardour  of 
his  character.  He  reigns,  and  the  firmness  with  which  he  does  so, 
would  justify  his  answering  in  the  language  of  a  sovereign,  who  being 
interrogated,  how  he  could  possibly  remain  on  his  throne,  while 
governing  a  ferocious  and  inconstant  multitude  i  replied,  "  because 
the  crown  is  more  closely  attached  to  my  head,  than  the  latter  is  to  my 

The  council  of  state  is  composed  of  all  the  ministers  ;  and  these 
are  nominated  by  the  Dey,  not  as  the  organs  of  the  people,  but  the 
obsequious  slaves  of  his  highness.     Caprice,  accident,  favouritism,  or 

*  An  account  of  Omar's  fate  will  be  given  in  another  part  of  this  volume.  — AV. 
QQ  2 

300  CONSEQUENCES    OF    THE    FALL    OF    A    DEY. 

the  spirit  of  party,  alone  has  any  share  in  determining  their  selection  ; 
so  that  in  Barbary,  a  man  is  frequently  raised  from  the  lowest  con- 
dition to  the  highest  pinnacle  of  fortune,  while  another  falls  into  an 
abyss  of  misery  from  dignity  and  titles.  It  has  sometimes  happened, 
that  the  Dey's  principal  secretary  was  formerly  his  groom  ;  and  that 
he  who  sweeps  the  streets  once  governed  the  city  !  These  sports  of 
fortune  are  generally  found  to  be  as  mean  and  servile  in  adversity,  as 
they  were  proud  and  insolent  in  prosperity  :  the  degraded  multitude, 
not  less  influenced  by  equally  dishonourable  motives,  are  also  ever 
ready  to  trample  on  the  humbled  superior,  who  was  formerly 
oppressed  with  their  fawning  adulation. 

When  precipitated  from  power,  a  Dey  is  sure  to  drag  all  liis 
officers  after  him  ;  and  while  reigning,  his  avarice  frequently  leads  to 
the  spo^iitation  of  those  whom  his  own  patronage  and  protection  may 
have  previously  enriched  :  thus,  by  a  natural  inconstancy,  destroying 
his  own  work.  At  another  time,  he  will  sacrifice  his  chief  favourite 
to  the  fury  of  the  soldiers,  as  we  throw  pieces  of  meat  to  satisfy  the 
roaring  lion,  or  famished  jackall.  Perhaps  it  belongs  to  the  policy 
of  Algiers,  to  make  an  occasional  vacancy  in  some  public  office,  if 
only  to  excite  the  hopes  and  ardour  of  unemployed  candidates  ; 
such  artifices  not  being  disdained  even  in  more  polished  countries. 

Sir  Robert  Walpole,  being  anxious  to  pass  a  bill  in  the  upper 
house,  on  which  it  was  particularly  necessary  to  obtain  the  appro- 
bation of  the  spiritual  peers,  requested  his  friend,  the  Archbishop  of 
Canterl)ury,  to  remain  shut  up  at  home  for  a  few  days  ;  and  imme- 
diately after,  caused  it  to  be  reported,  that  his  grace  was  suddenly 
attacked  by  a  complaint  which  baffled  the  skill  of  his  medical 
advisers,  and  left  no  chance  of  his  recovery.  No  sooner  had  the  news 
gone  abroad,  than  all  the  other  right  reverend  lords  immediately 
paid  their  court  to  the  minister,  by  which  means  he  found  no  difficulty 
in  passing  his  bill  ;  which  event  was  speedily  followed  by  the  arch- 
bishop's re-appearance  in  rude  health  ! 

There  are  people  who  will,  perhaps,  say,  that  there  is  no  harm 


in  a  ministry  feelings  some  little  degree  of  uneasiness  on  their  seats  ; 
and  that  it  would  rather  do  good,  were  those  of  Algiers  occasionally 
placed  on  such  a  chair,  as  Cambyses  put  the  son  of  a  magistrate  who 
had  been  convicted  of  injustice  and  venality  :  others  may  also  assert, 
that  being  watched  with  vigilance,  and  surrounded  by  precipices,  the 
members  of  an  administration  neither  relax  in  zeal,  nor  sleep  upon 
their  posts,  regarding  the  state  as  their  patrimony,  and  their  places 
not  as  a  public  charge,  but  a  situation  of  enjoyment  and  repose.  But 
it  is  not  for  neglect  of  pul>lic  duty,  or  oppressing  the  people  that 
ministers  are  punished  in  Algiers  :  when  they  suffer,  it  arises  more 
frequently  from  the  disinclination  or  impossibility  of  their  satistying 
their  master's  avidity  for  gold,  or  falling  the  victims  of  a  treacherous 
intrigue.  It  is  not  the  sword  of  justice  that  is  raised  against  them  on 
such  occasions,  but  the  dagger  of  revenge.  Thus  the  ministers  of 
Barbary,  always  uncertain  of  their  fate,  are  tilled  with  trendiling 
and  suspicion  :  never  obtaining  recorapence  or  praise  for  their  good 
conduct,  they  are  isolated,  as  it  were,  and  cannot  feel  attached  to  a 
government  made  up  of  ingratitude  and  caprice.  It  is,  therefore, 
very  natural  for  them  to  be  chiefly  intent  on  enriching  themselves  for 
the  purpose  of  fllying  on  the  first  favourable  occasion,  as  the  only 
resource  against  the  inconstancy  of  fortune. 

It  appears  a  singular  phenomenon  in  political  science,  when 
we  reflect  on  the  kind  of  people  who  are  called  to  administer  the 
affairs  of  government  in  Barbary  ;  where  mere  chance,  and  that  alone, 
without  the  smallest  regard  to  talents,  is  generally  the  origin  of  a 
minister's  elevation  to  power  and  place.  What  would  be  the  conse- 
quence in  Europe,  says  a  traveller,  if  all  offices  of  importance  and 
trust,  were  exclusively  bestowed  on  the  most  uneducated  and  obscure 
part  of  the  community  ? — In  Africa,  where  such  is  the  case,  and  all 
are  ignorant  alike,  the  result  is  not  productive  of  quite  so  much  incon- 

In  this  country,  the  acme  of  ministerial  talent  consists  of  the 
lowest  cunning  and  artifice;    which  valuable    qualities  are  usually 


employed  in  penetrating  the  designs  and  intentions  of  other  people  : 
and  in  this  the  Turks  and  Moors  are  said  to  possess  a  profound  al>ility. 
But  who  knows,  after  all,  whether  this  grand  art  of  government,  about 
which  so  much  has  been  said  and  written,  is  so  difficult  as  many 
vAould  make  us  believe t  And  whether  things  would  not  go  on  toler- 
ably well  without  quite  so  many  cooks  ?  It  may  be  the  driver,  who 
impels  the  horses,  that  carry  him  along  i  I  have,  however,  seen  some 
coachmen  drunk,  and  sleeping  on  their  boxes  ;  yet  the  horses  seemed 
to  proceed,  «  merveille,  never  missing  their  road.  I  have  witnessed 
others,  impatient  and  irritated,  often  whipping  the  poor  animals 
confided  to  their  charge,  to  death  ;  and  on  enquiry  into  the  cause  of 
the  dispute,  frequently  found  the  horses  were  in  the  right. 

The  Chancellor  Oxenstiern's  son,  being  appointed  ambassador  to 
the  Swedish  Congress,  waited  in  constant  expectation  that  his  father 
Avould  give  him  ample  instructions  how  to  act  at  that  solemn  assem- 
bly, where  the  destinies  of  Gennany  were  about  to  be  decided.  But 
his  father  was  perfectly  silent  on  the  subject  :  at  length  the  day  of 
de]>arture  having  arrived,  the  ambassador  waited  on  the  chancellor, 
to  request  he  would  give  him  some  clue  by  which  he  couhl  be  guided 
in  the  difficult  mission  he  was  about  to  undertake.  "  Go,"  said  his 
Ikther,  "  and  don't  give  yourself  any  farther  uneasiness." — Videbis 
quam  parva  enm  sapieiitia  regatur  mundu.s.  Oxenstiern  possessed 
too  much  talents  himself,  not  to  know  their  influence  on  people  and 
governments;  and  no  doubt  took  great  care,  that  in  this  instance,  his 
selection  fell  upon  a  person  so  fully  equal  to  the  object  in  view,  that 
no  instructions  were  necessary  ;  for,  when  on  the  spot,  the  acute 
statesman  acts  according  to  circumstances  as  they  arise. — Mitte 
sapientem,  et  nihil  dicas. 

The  executive  members  of  the  Algerine  government  are  composed 
of  the  Casnedar  or  Cadenaggi,  grand  treasurer,  and  keeper  of  the 
hasena,  an  apartment  close  to  the  divan,  in  which  all  the  Dey's  .specie 
is  deposited;  the  Michelacci,  minister  of  foreign  affairs  and  the 
marine,  who,  from  the  importance  of  his  functions  may  be  considered 


as  premier;  the  Grand  Rais,  or  admiral,  who  commands  all  llie 
naval  forces  ;  the  Caia  of  the  Dey's  palace,  whose  place  he  irequentiy 
supplies;  the  Aga  of  the  camp  ;  Commander  in  Chief  of  the  army  ; 
the  Coiigia  of  horse,  head  general  of  cavalry;  and  Aga  Baston, 
whose  office  is  far  from  being  the  least  consequential,  as  already  men- 
tioned. There  are  also  four  hojas,  or  secretaries  of  state;  the  oldest 
of  whom  superintends  all  the  public  accounts  and  expenditure,  paying 
the  military,  &c.  The  second  keeps  a  registry  of  imposts  ;  tiie  third 
notes  all  receipts  into  the  treasury,  and  sums  paid  out  of  it;  while 
the  fourth  is  required  to  register  the  decrees,  and  public  acts  of 
his  master  with  foreign  powers.  The  last  named  officers  are  generally 
seated  on  the  Dey's  right  hand,  when  in  the  hall  of  justice;  and  are 
thus  in  readiness  to  note  the  orders  and  decrees  which  may  be  given. 
The  hojas  seldom  speak  in  the  divan,  but  their  advice  is  given  very 
freely  in  private,  and  generally  has  great  influence  with  his  highness. 
Whenever  a  European  consul  goes  to  complain  or  enforce  any  claims 
at  the  Pascialick,  the  fourth  hojas  reads  the  article  in  question, 
which  must  be  literally  followed.  If  the  claim  is  properly  invalidated 
satisfaction  is  given  :  on  the  contrary,  should  the  affair  rest  on  doubt- 
ful conjecture,  or  insufficient  proof,  it  is  rejected,  and  the  subject  is 
not  renewed  any  more.  In  addition  to  the  foregoing,  there  are  eighty 
inferior  hojas,  each  of  whom  has  a  particular  charge.  Some  collect 
the  tax  on  houses,  others  serve  out  the  soldiers'  bread,  preside  at  the 
custom-house  to  receive  duties,  superintend  military  depots  ;  t^vo  are 
stationed  at  the  marine  gate  of  the  city,  some  are  always  near  the 
Dey's  person,  while  others  constantly  attend  the  ministers,  and 
accompany  the  naval  and  military  expeditions. 

Beside  the  above,  there  are  also  some  other  important  officers  of 
state,  such  as  the  Grand  Doletro,  or  lord  chief  justice,  whose  seal 
is  affixed  to  all  treaties.  The  Mezovard,  a  species  of  lord  mayor, 
who  looks  after  the  internal  peace  of  the  capital,  going  round  the 
city  every  night:  his  report  is  regularly  made  to  the  Dey.  He  is 
chief  inspector  of  prostitutes,  from  each  of  whom  he  exacts  a  tax: 


and  also  superintends  the  butchers,  who  must  all  be  Moors.  The 
Checkebeld  is  charged  with  the  repairs  of  the  city  and  public  works  : 
it  is  also  at  this  officer's  house  that  the  Moorish  women  are  punished  ; 
and  he  is  responsible  for  the  care  and  custody  of  those  captives  whose 
rank  or  rather  fortune  may  be  sufficient  to  exempt  them  from  working. 
Another  officer,  called  the  Pilremelgi,  claims  and  takes  possession  of 
whatever  belongs  to  the  public  or  Dey,  either  by  death  or  other  cause: 
he  must  on  this  account  be  informed  of  all  deaths;  and  in  order  that 
they  cannot  be  concealed  from  his  knowledge,  his  permit  is  necessary, 
before  any  corpse  can  be  taken  to  the  burying  ground,  there  being  a 
subaltern  stationed  at  each  gate  to  receive  these  written  permissions. 
The  Dragoman,  or  interpreter  of  the  palace,  is  generally  a  Turk, 
and  obliged  to  be  well  versed  in  the  Arabic;  after  explaining  the 
contents  of  all  letters  to  the  Dey,  he  is  to  deliver  his  highness  a 
Turkish  translation  of  them.  He  also  seals  all  dispatches,  and  other 
documents  before  his  master,  who  never  signs  any  papers  himself,  but 
has  a  seal  with  his  name  engraven  on  it,  applied  by  the  Dragoman. 

The  Rais,  or  captain  of  the  port,  is  obliged  to  visit  all  vessels 
previous  to  their  sailing,  to  see  that  no  slave  is  concealed  on  board  : 
he  decides  any  disputes  that  may  arise  amongst  the  ships  in  the 
mole,  and  reconnoitres  along  the  coast  every  evening  before  sun-set. 
These  ministers  are  not  regularly  paid  ;  but  as  they  do  not  serve 
for  honour,  it  is  natural  enough  for  them  to  adopt  other  modes  of 
levying  contributions  on  the  public:  it  is  this  which  makes  all  the 
Dey's  officers  the  very  emblems  of  venality  and  extortion.  Indepen- 
dent of  gratuitous  presents,  and  these  are  never  refused,  there  are 
regular  charges  made  in  all  transactions  with  public  offices,  called 
Usanza,  equivalent  to  old  established  custom;  and,  as  amongst  the 
beggars,  a  douceur  once  given  by  any  stranger,  is  sure  to  be  levied 
on  all  those  who  come  after  him.  Unlike  the  more  conscientious 
ministers  of  other  conntries,  there  is  not  the  least  fear  of  prosecution 
against  those  who  present  a  statesman  of  Barbary  with  a  compliment 
either  in  money  or  jewels.     He  neither  hesitates  to  receive  the  prof- 


fered  favour,  or  is  appreliensive  of  being  thought  indiscreet  for  his 
condescension.  Like  a  hidy  who  once  praised  a  ring-  which  she  saw 
on  a  gentleman's  finger.  "  It  is  at  your  service,"  said  he.  "  I  accej)t 
it,"  was  her  reply  ;  upon  which  lie  rejoined,  "  Ah,  madam!  you  are 
going  to  banish  gallantry  from  the  world  !" 

I  knew  many  of  these  official  gentlemen  :  some  were  thrust  into 
power  by  conspiracy  and  cabal,  others  had  crept  into  place  by 
grovelling  and  servility.  The  door  which  leads  to  fortune  is  small, 
and  cannot  be  entered  without  stooping;  while  posts  of  eminence 
may  be  compared  to  certain  trees,  the  tops  of  which  none  can  reach 
except  eagles  or  reptiles. 

I  was  frequently  in  the  habit  of  meeting  the  Michelacci,  who 
certainly  possessed  some  talent  ;  but  to  a  violent  disposition,  he  added 
the  most  repulsive  manners,  and  unconquerable  obstinacy.  The  Cade- 
naggi  did  not  enjoy  either  much  favour  or  authority  at  court;  this 
preying  on  a  proud  spirit,  rendered  him  morose  and  melancholy  :  he  con- 
stantly complained  of  illness,  but  did  not  know  his  disorder,  it  was  that 
of  suppressed  ambition.  The  Grand  Doletro  had  been  formerly  chief 
purveyor  to  the  army,  and  from  this,  some  idea  may  be  formed  of  his 
legal  knowledge  ;  nor  would  an  epigram  which  was  applied  to  the 
counsellor  of  a  prefect,  during  the  domination  of  the  French  in  Italy, 
be  altogether  inapplicable  to  this  luminary  of  the  law. 

Consigliere  è  fatto  Tizio  : 
Deve  dare  il  suo  guidizio  ; 
Nessun  dà  quel  che  non  ha.* 

The  person  appointed  to  be  military  governor  of  the  city  during 
ray  stay  there,  had  never  served  a  single  campaign,  or  even  joined 
the  armies  on  active  service.  The  Piince  de  Ligne  having  heard  that 
such  a  one  had  been  made  a  general,  observed,  "  Rather  say  he  was 
nominated  !"     Omar,  who  afterwards  became  Dey,  was,  in  point  of 

*  This  is  from  the  author's  collection,  whic>  is  very  extensive,  and  justly  celebrated 
ail  over  Italy,  for  brilliancy  of  wit,  and  acuteness  of  judgment. — Ed. 

R  R 


judgment  and  penetration,  an  exception  to  them  all,  if  I  except  an 
old  liojas,  who  had  for  some  time  officiated  as  first  secretary  to  Ali 
Bassa.  It  often  occurred  to  me,  that  this  man  was  a  renegado,  but 
he  would  never  confess  it. 

During  the  seven  years  Ali  reigned,  the  ministers  were  changed 
three  or  four  times.  The  Pascialick  in  those  days,  resembled  an 
European  court,  in  which  the  intrigues  of  courtiers  and  favourites 
gave  rise  to  so  many  changes  of  ministry,  that  an  old,  who 
frequently  paid  her  devoirs,  used  to  stop  the  carriage  at  some  distance 
from  the  door,  and  send  her  laquais  forwards  to  enquire,  if  Mr.  *  *  * 
'  was  still  in  office  %  The  old  admiral  had  survived  two  Deys,  and 
floated  over  no  less  than  four  revolutions.  This  success  in  the  art  of 
keeping  his  place,  was  derived  from  the  profound  cunning  and  inex- 
haustible flexibility  of  his  character.  A  slave  to  circumstances,  the 
pliant  tool  of  each  ruler,  and  weather-cock  of  every  blast,  the  winds 
seemed  to  be  his  only  guide.  But  some  will  ask,  was  it  his  fault  if 
they  were  variable  Ì 

The  celebrated  Vicar  of  Bray,  to  whom  so  many  modern  politi- 
cians bear  a  very  exact  resemblance,  when  upbraided  for  the  versatility 
of  his  genius  in  accepting  curacies  from  parties  of  the  most  opposite 
sentiments,  replied  in  a  tone  of  the  utmost  exultation, — "  So  far 
from  deserving  these  reproaches,  I  am  ever  equal  to  myself;  nor  is  it 
possible  for  any  one  to  have  displayed  such  unshaken  consistency. — 
I  was  Vicar  of  Bray  at  first,  am  so  still,  and  will  die  Vicar  of 
Bray  !" 

THE   DIVAN.  ;^0: 


The  Divan. — Us  Character  as  a  representative  Body. — By  whom  composed. 

Mode  of  assembling.— -Discussion,  and  Collection  of  the  Votes.— Revenues. 
—  The  Beys. —  Their  Rapacity. — Dey's  Policy  with  regard  to  them. —  The 
Caids,  and  their  numerous  Oppressions.— Account  of  the  Chiaux,  or  Dey's 
Messengers.— Their  Influence  on  the  Multitude.— Reflections  on  Laws  and 
Government.-Algerine  Code.-  The  Cadi.  -  Their  Appointment  and  Functions. 
Civil  Process  in  Barbary.  —Ignorance  of  the  Judges,  and  novel  Mode  of 
deciding  Causes. — Remarks  and  Anecdotes. — Criminal  Process. — Punish- 
ment inflicted  for  various  Crimes. — Consequences  of  Adultery  and  Infidelity 
in  the  Females. — Punishment  of  Treason. — Debtors. — How  treated. Anec- 
dote of  Ibrahim  Dey.— Effect  of  the  Dey's  Personal  Administration  of 
Justice. — Anecdote  of  Cheban  Dey. — Defects  of  the  Algerine  Law. Exces- 
sive Severity  of  some  Punishments.— Police  Regulations  o/  A  lg  i  e  r  a.— Nightly 
Patroles. — Espionage  and  Informers. — Subterfuges  of  arbitrary  Power. 

When  I  name  the  Divan  of  Algiers,  let  not  the  reader  imagine 
any  thing  like  the  Chamber  of  Deputies  in  France,  and  still  less  a 
British  Parliament.  The  people  of  Barbary  have  no  idea  whatever 
of  national  representation,  or  that  balance  of  political  power,  and 
mixed  government,  so  tempered,  that  it  is  capable  of  uniting  liberty 
with  order  ;  and  in  which  the  best  guarantee  of  popular  rights  is  found 
in  the  royal  prerogative  ;  where,  by  a  rational  respect  for  the  power 
and  dignity  of  the  crown,  the  surest  barriers  are  opposed  to  tyranny 
and  oppression  ;  where  the  people  are  associated  with  the  govern- 
ment, to  watch  over  their  own  immediate  interests,  and  promote  the 
common  safety;  where,    in   fine,    the    tempestuous   passions     being 

R   R   2 

308  MEMBERS    OP   THE    DIVAN. 

repressed,  a  wide  field  is  open  to  genius,  love  of  country,  the  desire 
of  useful  activity,  fervid  movements  of  the  heart,  and  generous 
impulses  of  glory. 

The  dowane,  or  as  we  say,  divan,  is  composed  of  the  principal 
ministers  and  officers  of  the  Janizaries,  and  Moorish  niilitia  ;  who  are 
not  elected,  but  belong  naturally  to  this  assembly,  as  the  warlike 
supporters  of  the  Dey's  power.  So  tar,  therefore,  from  representing 
the  people,  they  can  only  be  viewed  in  the  light  of  an  insolent  and 
overbearing  aristocracy.  Notwithstanding  its  entire  subserviency  to 
the  ruling  power,  the  divan  possesses  some  lands  and  revenues  ;  but 
it  does  not,  as  formerly ,*^inherit  the  property  of  those  who  die  intestate 
or  without  issue.  The  comparatively  few  siims  paid  into  its  treasury, 
at  present,  are  devoted  to  repairing  the  walls  of  the  city,  and  in 
occasionally  paying  for  public  dinners  ;  which,  as  in  some  countries 
of  Europe,  is  frequently  the  sole  cause  of  bringing  the  divan  together. 
Each  member  of  this  body  is  distinguished  by  having  a  slip  of  gold- 
lace  in  front  of  his  turban. 

The  most  numerous  part  of  the  above  assembly,  consists  of  the 
old  agas,  yiack  bash  as,  three  hundred  boulouchis,  two  hundred 
oldaks;  the  whole  generally  amounting  to  seven  hundred  persons. 
In  affairs  of  great  importance,  the  mezoul  agas,  or  retired  officers, 
and  sometimes  even  the  whole  of  the  Turkish  soldiery  are  included. 
The  oldest  aga  acts  as  president,  taking  the  first  seat  ;  close  to  him 
is  the  secretary,  who  notes  down  the  resolutions  ;  the  third  range  is 
composed  of  twenty-four  aga  bashas,  or  principal  officers  of  the 
militia  ;  who  seat  themselves  according  to  rank  and  length  of  service  ; 
then  come  the  boulouc  bashas  and  oldaks.  A  meeting  is  held  at  the 
Alcasar  every  Saturday,  besides  any  other  time  required  by  the  Dey  : 
when  the  attendance  of  the  soldiers  is  called  for,  they  nmst  go  unarmed, 
and  while  in  the  hall,  remain  with  their  arms  folded.  All  questions  are 
discussed  in  the  Turkish  language;  andwhenputto  the  vote,  the  prin- 
cipal aga  gives  his  opinion  first,  or  makes  his  proposition,  which  is 
communicated  to  the  aga  bashas  ;  four  officers,  called  bashoul  dala. 

THE    BEYS.  :i09 

repeat  it  one  after  another  in  a  lond  tone,  which  usually  creates  great 
confusion  for  the  time  ;  but  here  it  is  only  vox,  vox,  jirceteraque 
nihil!  because  it  very  seldom  happens,  that  anything  is  decided  on, 
during  these  tumultuous  meetings.  And  it  may  be  said  of  the  divan, 
as  of  the  council  of  an  old  sovereign,  when  a  person  having  asked, 
"  what  has  passed  at  the  grand  council  this  morning'?"  Another 
answered,  "  what  has  passed  ?  Why,  three  hours  !"  In  former  times, 
all  affairs  of  consequence  were  argued  and  examined  in  this  assembly, 
and  not  only  the  laws,  but  every  decree  of  the  Dey  was  to  have  its 
approval,  previous  to  being  put  into  force.  But  now,  the  Dey  assem- 
bles and  dissolves  it  according  to  his  good  pleasure  and  convenience  ; 
entering  the  hall  as  Buonaparte  used  to  go  in  amongst  the  pliant 
legislators  of  St.  Cloud,  or  as  Oliver  Cromwell  dissolved  the  long 
parliament.  The  Grand  Caia,  who  usually  represents  the  Dey,  opens 
the  debate,  by  shortly  stating  the  object  of  the  meeting,  and  then 
concludes,  by  making  his  proposal,  that  is  to  say,  what  must  be 
acceded  to  :  his  silence  is  followed  by  casting  a  ferocious  look  round 
the  assembly,  which  plainly  indicates  the  result  of  nonconformity  to 
his  wishes.  This  is  one  way  of  collecting  the  free  and  unbiassed  votes 
of  an  independent  assembly  ;  and  reminds  me  of  the  amateur  of 
paintings  ;  who,  after  having  told  one  of  the  cognoscenti,  that  he 
woukl  throw  any  one  out  of  the  window  that  said  such  a  picture  was 
not  an  original,  finished  by  observing,  "  now,  my  friend,  I  request  that 
you,  who  are  so  good  a  judge,  and  sincere  in  giving  your  opinion, 
will  come,  and  tell  me  candidly,  what  you  think  of  it  V 

The  governor  of  each  province  is  entitled  Bey,  and  is  also  sometimes 
entrusted  with  the  command  of  the  army,  if  hostilities  are  going  on 
within  his  own  territory,  or  on  its  frontiers  towards  the  enemy.  These 
officers  are  almost  invested  with  sovereignauthority:  in  nominating  them, 
their  commission  merely  consists  in  the  Dey's  telling  them  before  his 
ministers,  "  go,  and  govern  such  a  country,  and  be  my  general." 

There  are  three  Beys  appointed  by  the  Dey  of  Algiers  :  one  resides 
at  Oran,  in  the  western  province  ;    another  lives  in    the  eastern,  of 

310  THE    BEYS. 

which  Constantina  is  the  capital;  while  the  third  is  generally  encamped 
with  a  large  military  force,  which  is  almost  continually  emjjloyed  in 
keeping  down  those  tribes  who  may  be  anxious  to  throw  off  the 
despotic  yoke  under  which  they  groan.  All  the  Beys  ai-e  more  or  less 
occupied  in  making  irruptions  amongst  unhappy  and  persecuted 
people  :  after  having  exercised  the  greatest  rapacity,  and  obtained  an 
increase  of  territory,  the  tribes  are  for  a  time  very  well  treated, 
and  even  caressed,  by  their  inexorable  oppres.sors.  The  Beys  are 
recalled  to  the  seat  of  government  every  two  or  three  years  to  give  an 
account  of  their  proceedings  to  the  Dey.  They  of  course  do  not  omit 
coming  into  the  capital,  well  loaded  with  booty,  the  produce  of  their 
previous  exactions  and  plunder.  Although  on  arriving  at  Algiers, 
they  are  no  more  than  private  individuals,  yet,  from  the  splendor  and 
extent  of  their  retinue,  they  are  always  honoured  with  the  acclama- 
tions of  the  populace,  in  proportion  to  the  greatness  of  their  train 
and  quantity-  of  treasure  brought  in. 

In  these  extensive  governments,  the  chiefs  take  good  care  to 
provide  for  themselves:  hence  the  immense  riches  which  they  are  said 
to  possess  ;  and  while  at  their  posts  there  is  no  device  of  cruelty  or 
art  to  which  they  will  not  have  recourse  to  obtain  money  from  the 
peaceful  inhabitants.  A  newly  appointed  Bey  having  asked  his  pre- 
decessor what  his  government  yielded,  the  latter  rej)lied,  "  It  has 
usually  brought  ten  thousand  piasti'es  :  when  not  afraid  of  trifles,  you 
might  make  twenty  thousand  of  it,  and  I  have  got  as  many  as  thirty 
thousand  !" 

The  Dey  suffers  them  to  do  as  they  like  with  the  most  perfect 
indifference  :  he  even  appears  to  be  gratified  at  their  wading  through 
the  blood  of  his  people,  that  he  may  afterwards  have  the  pleasure  of 
squeezing  the  spunge,  as  it  is  called.  When  once  ascertained  that  the 
Beys  are  sufficiently  rich,  their  avaricious  master  soon  contrives  to 
induce  their  return  to  Algiers;  where  if  not  very  liberal  in  ministering 
to  his  thirst  for  gold,  there  is  no  difficulty  in  making  a  pretext  to  arrest 
them,  which  event  is  usually  followed  by  strangling.     It  is  true,  that 

THE    BEYS.  31  f 

many  of  the  Beys  who  may  be  apprehensive  of  the  consequences, 
often  contrive  to  keep  away  from  the  capital,  for  a  long  time  after 
being  recalled.  The  Caifte,  or  next  in  command,  is  frequently  sent 
on  with  the  tribute,  and  large  presents,  while  in  some  cases  recourse 
has  been  had  to  flight:  on  these  occasions  the  Mountains  of  Couco 
aiford  a  safe  and  luxurious  retreat  to  the  voluntary  exile.  If  there 
are  a  few  solitary  instances  on  record,  of  punishment  having  been 
inflicted  on  a  plundering  governor  or  venal  minister  of  Barbary,  the 
public  good  was  not  so  much  consulted,  as  the  advantage  his  high- 
ness's  revenue  might  derive  from  it.  Should  an  officer  be  complained 
of,  he  is  displaced,  and  his  fortune  is  immediately  seized  by  the 
Dey.  If  the  next  who  succeeds  him  be  also  denounced,  and  the 
populace  are  once  more  gratified  by  the  fall  of  an  oppressive 
governor,  the  chances  are  greatly  in  favour  of  a  still  more  corrupt 
character  filling  his  place  ;  and  while  the  latter  is  busily  employed  in 
fattening  on  the  spoils  of  the  abused  multitude,  the  Beys  are  equally 
active  on  their  side,  Avhile  his  highness  is  only  intent  on  finding  a 
pretext,  no  matter  how  trifling,  to  spoliate  both  parties:  thus  furnish- 
ing rather  a  striking  illustration  of  a  well  known  fable. 

The  Caids,  or  governors  of  cities,  generally  buy  their  places,  with 
the  laudable  design  of  ultimately  getting  the  purchase  money  and 
something  more,  back  from  the  pockets  of  the  devoted  inhabitants; 
who  have  justly  been  compared  to  those  travellers  that  in  crossing  the 
desert,  are  either  devoured  by  beasts  of  prey,  or  have  their  blood 
extracted  by  innumerable  insects. 

Whatever  oppression  may  have  been  omitted  by  the  Beys,  is 
most  amply  inflicted  by  the  Caids;  but  the  worst  effects  connected 
with  society  in  Barbary,  are  those  which  arise  from  its  total  want  of 
individual  attachment  or  general  unanimity,  the  usual  result  of  des- 
potism in  all  countries.  Here  each  member  of  the  community,  who 
may  possess  either  wealth  or  power,  lords  it  over  his  inferior  ;  and  if 
g-uilty  of  the  greatest  acts  of  violence,  he  easily  finds  protection  and 
indemnity  from  a  higher  authority.     Such  a  crying  system  of  injus- 

312  THE    CHIAUX. 

tice,  could  only  exist  under  the  most  perverse  despotism  ;  for  although 
the  prince's  attention  may  be  chiefly  directed  against  the  great  and 
powerful,  his  tyranny  is  regularly  propagated  through  every  depart- 
ment of  the  state,  untirit  reaches  the  common  executioner.  Every 
one  makes  a  rule  of  revenging  the  injuries  he  has  received  from  his 
supeiiors  on  those  below  him  ;  and  the  more  he  is  necessitated  to  stoop 
before  the  former,  the  greater  his  punctilio  with  the  latter,  exerting  a 
degree  of  severity  exactly  proportioned  to  his  own  standard  of  servi- 
lity and  meanness  towards  those  above  him.  It  is  not  the  uncon- 
trouled  despot  of  absolute  power,  that  is  most  oppressive  to  his 
people  :  those  who  chiefly  torment  and  agitate  them,  are  the  inferior 
tyrants,  who,  vain  of  that  authority,  which  they  aie  in  constant  fear 
of  losing,  ought  to  be  considered  as  the  real  scourges  of  civil  society. 
It  is  almost  needless  to  add,  that  wherever  such  a  system  of  govern- 
ment is  tolerated,  the  eflect  of  petty  tyrants  is  quite  as  injurious  to 
the  monarch,  as  his  people.  Proceeding  from  its  pure  source,  through 
a  hvindred  obscure  channels,  and  thence  descending  into  various 
ignoble  hands,  authority  is  ever  sure  to  lose  in  force  and  dignity-  :  the 
sun's  rays  are  of  gold  ;  reflected  by  the  moon  they  become  silver. 

Amongst  the  oflicers  immediately  about  the  Dey's  person,  are 
twelve  messengers  of  state,  called  Chiaux  :  these  are  the  infallible 
executioners  of  his  will  and  pleasure,  being  always  in  attendance, 
either  to  convey  a  dispatch,  or  chop  oft' a  head.  These  satellites  are 
under  the  direction  of  two  others,  styled  Bachiaux  ;  who  constantly 
wait  on  each  side  his  highness  while  administering  justice  ;  some  are 
Turks,  and  others  natives  :  the  former  being  employed  in  arresting  or 
punishing  their  own  countrymen  ;  while  the  latter  executes  all  orders 
and  decrees  in  which  Moors  are  concerned.  The  Turkish  Chiaux 
would,  in  fact,  consider  it  as  a  degradation,  were  he  sent  to  arrest  a 
Moor  ora  Jew.  They  always  receive  the  Dey's  orders  verbally,  and 
never  in  writing.  Their  dress  is  green,  with  a  crimson  band  round  the 
middle,  and  pointed  turban.  The  strongest  and  best  looking  men  are 
generally  selected    for    this    oflice  ;    and    they  are    prohibited    from 

THE    CHIAUX.  313 

carrying  anus  of  any  descrijition,  not  even  a  knife  :  so  that  when 
abroad,  the  Chiaux  is  not  distinguished  by  the  smallest  military 
attribute,  and  looks  more  like  a  peaceful  citizen  than  the  minister  of 

Notwithstanding  all  this,  nothing  can  exceed  the  dread  and 
horror  in  which  tliey  are  held  by  the  multitude  :  this  arises  from  the 
inflexible  resolution  displayed  by  them  in  executing  the  orders  of  the 
Dey  :  this  is,  of  itself,  enough  to  make  a  host  of  Moors  instantly  obey 
the  most  terrible  command  they  can  give.  At  the  very  tirst  intimation 
of  a  Chiaux,  the  most  resolute  Moor  will  surrender,  or  lay  his  head 
down  to  be  taken  off,  whether  innocent  or  not,  though  surrounded  by 
numerous  friends.  When  the  tyrant  orders  the  arrest,  or  death  of  any 
one  who  may  have  excited  his  anger,  or  violated  the  laws,  the  execu- 
tioner departs,  searches  in  every  direction  for  the  proscribed  individual, 
and  does  not  return  without  either  the  body  in  chains,  or  the  bleeding 
head.  Should  an  unforeseen  event  have  passed  between  the  messen- 
ger and  his  victim,  notice  is  given,  that  every  subject  of  his  highness 
is  to  assist  in  his  discovery,  or  to  reveal  the  place  of  his  retreat:  the 
person  aiding  or  assisting  in  his  evasion,  makes  himself  liable  to 
the  punishment  of  instant  death  if  found  out.  The  myrmidons  who 
attended  the  three  famous  inquisitors  of  Venice,  will  serve  to  give 
some  idea  of  the  terrible  executioners  employed  to  put  the  inevitable 
decrees  of  the  Algerine  despot  into  effect. 

To  rule  with  a  strong  hand,  without  the  outward  shew  of  military 
force,  or  legal  power,  is  no  trifling  acquirement  in  the  art  of  govern- 
ing. The  sagacity  of  a  legislator  chiefly  consists  in  a  happy  distri- 
bution of  his  means,  and  the  simple  facility  of  putting  them  into  prompt 
execution.  But  this  singular  power  of  the  piratical  government, 
without  any  appearance  of  an  armed  force  ;  and  the  extreme  rapidity 
with  which  sentences  are  executed  without  opposition  ;  is  far  from 
being  the  result  of  a  well  regulated  republic,  equitable  laws,  or 
acknowledged  justice  of  the  prince  ;  as  proved  in  England,  by  the 


respect  winch  is  shewn  to  the  mere  intimation  of  a  constable.  In 
Barbary,  it  is  rather  the  effect  of  a  cruel  tyranny,  and  that  amazing 
terror  with  which  a  government,  made  up  of  artifice  and  revenge,  inspires 
a  degraded  people.  Although  deserving  our  pity,  when  the  causes 
whence  it  springs  are  considered,  the  Moors  are  dissimulating  as  they 
are  servile;  and  while  under  the  tyrant's  lash,  will  smile  and  thank 
his  excellency,  for  having  deigned  to  think  of  them  !  "I,"  said  a 
rich  Moor,  "  cannot  reflect  without  an  internal  sentiment  of  glory  and 
satisfaction,  that  my  head  is  suflered  to  remain  on  my  shoulders, 
through  the  bounteous  clemency  of  my  invincible  sultan  !"  However, 
the  more  acute  observer  does  not  think  the  people  of  Afi'ica  contented 
or  happy,  because  neither  opposition  or  revolt  is  manifested  :  they  do 
not  even  murmur  or  complain.  But  how  are  they  to  move,  while 
loaded  with  fetters,  or  speak  with  their  mouths  closed  1 

That  people  who  are  allowed  to  complain,  are  not  always  the 
most  imhappy.  It  is  much  worse  to  be  obliged  to  remain  silent  in 
suffering,  or  as  occasionally  happens,  be  forced  to  praise  the  authors 
of  our  oppression.  Pliny  observes,  subjects  never  complain  so  little  of 
any  sovereign,  as  of  him,  with  whom  they  have  most  reason  to  be 
dissatisfied.  And  Carnot,  with  equal  justice,  that  in  despotic  coun- 
tries, people  suffer  most  and  complain  the  least  ;  whereas,  in  free 
states,  the  maxim  is  directly  reversed.  By  a  strange  fatality  in 
our  nature,  those  who  have  the  greatest  reason  to  be  satisfied  with 
fortune,  are  the  first  to  murmur  against  the  most  trifling  disaster: — 
as  a  rose-leaf,  not  gracefully  unfolded,  was  sufficient  to  disturb  the 
effeminate  Sybarite's  repose.  When  a  nation  murmurs,  and  freely 
declares  its  sentiments,  it  proves  that  neither  misfortunes  nor  tyranny 
have  exhausted  its  courage  or  destroyed  its  virtue  ;  and  that  the  soil 
and  constitution  are  still  woithy  of  its  best  aflections. 

This  boldness  and  liberty  of  speech,  whether  employed  to  express 
approbation  or  disgust  of  public  measures,  is  not  only  a  great 
source  of  consolation   but  of  happiness.     A  feudal  lord,  being  told 

KORAN    THE    RULE    OF    LAW.  .315 

that  his  excessive  moderatioa  rendered  his  vassals  turbulent  and 
imj>etuous,  answered  : — "  I  know  that  the  voice  of  poverty  and 
wretchedness  is  humble  and  timorous  ;  but,  thank  Heaven  !  the  free- 
dom with  which  my  people  speak,  proves  them  to  be  rich  and 
happy."  Let  not  the  Dey  of  Algiers,  therefore,  fancy  himself  either 
a  good  shepherd  or  beloved  prince,  merely  because  the  Moors  appear 
calm  and  tranquil  :  he  would,  on  the  other  hand,  do  well  to  reflect 
with  a  poet  of  celebrity,  that 

II  silenzio  dei  popoli  è  la  lezione  dei  re  1  .         . 

There  is  no  civil  code  in  existence  amongst  the  people  of  Barbary, 
its  place  being  supplied  by  that  of  the  Koran  :  so  that  all  the  doctrine 
of  Algerine  jurisprudence,  is  confined  to  the  interpretation  of  that 
divine  book  and  its  sanctified  commentatoi's. 

It  is,  no  doubt,  a  great  blessing  for  a  people  to  derive  their  laws 
from  a  sacied  source  ;  but  the  mischief  in  Algiers  and  other  African 
governments  is,  that  the  chiefs  and  doctors  frequently  interpret  them 
in  a  very  different  sense  to  their  original  intention  ;  and  from  the 
princes  being  above  the  law,  every  facility  for  the  most  arbitrary 
innovation  is  thereby  created  :  besides,  we  all  know,  that  justice  in  a 
goverument  purely  military,  is  generally  to  be  found  at  the  point  of 
a  bayonet,  while  the  laws  are  written  in  blood.  Nor  would  arms  or 
soldiers  be  required,  if  their  often  boasted  laws  were  so  venerated  and 
obeyed  as  they  would  make  people  believe. 

Before  a  decree  can  pass  into  a  law,  the  teftd,  or  signature  of  the 
principal  mulii,  must  be  affixed  ;  and  when  a  casna  or  new  ordonnance 
comes  out,  the  pant,  or  public  cryer,  proclaims  it  with  a  large  speak- 
ing trumpet.  This  noisy  method  of  making  known  the  will  of 
government,  without  explaining  to  the  people,  as  we  do  in  Europe, 
the  meaning  of  any  new  edict,  carries  a  degree  of  pride  and  despotism 
with  it,  which  enforces  obedience  without  producing  conviction. 

In  Barbary,  custom  is  law  ;  and  as  no  changes  ever  take  place, 
ss  2 

316  I'HE    CADI. 

abuses  of  every  kind  continue  to  accumulate,  without  the  smallest 
advance  towards  improvement.  This  consoling  state  of  degradation, 
does  not,  however,  seem  to  displease  an  indolent  people  ;  who,  ab- 
sorbed in  stupidity  and  slavery,  are  incapable  of  being  roused  from 
their  lethargic  dream  :  like  the  companion  of  Ulysses,  who,  trans- 
formed into  a  frog,  was  contented  to  remain  croaking  in  the  marshes. 
But  perhaps  it  would  be  of  little  use,  and  regarded  by  some  as  an 
error,  were  any  attempts  made  to  awaken  a  nation  so  corrupt  and 
deo-enerate.  Stagnant  waters  must  not  be  agitated,  lest  their  exha- 
lations should  spread  pestilence  and  desolation  around. 

The  Cadi  is  a  species  of  lord  chancellor,  who  has  studied  at  the 
seminaries  of  Cairo  and  Constantinople  ;  where,  as  in  our  universities, 
the  pandects  of  Justinian,  which  have  been  translated  in  Arabic,  are 
read.  This  dignitary  is  sent  to  the  regencies  by  the  Grand  Seignor, 
with  the  approbation  of  the  Mufti.  His  power  only  extends  to  civil 
causes  ;  he  cannot  leave  the  city  without  permission  from  the  Dey  ; 
he  is  obliged  to  attend  in  court  twice  a  day  to  take  cognizance  of 
all  disputes;  and  in  case  of  difficulties,  recurs  to  the  Dey  or  Casnedar  : 
whenever  his  highness  is  disposed  to  decide  a  case  without  the  inter- 
vention of  the  Cadi,  the  Ulemas  are  first  consulted. 

There  is  one  Cadi  for  the  Turks,  and  another  to  decide  between 
the  Moors  :  both  have  a  number  of  inferior  agents  under  them,  called 
Paips,  who  go  on  circuit  in  the  country  villages. 

The  Cadi  is  referred  to  in  all  cases  concerning  property.  But 
the  only  means  of  placing  the  latter  out  of  the  reach  of  the  various 
fiscal  impositions  to  which  it  is  constantly  exposed,  is  to  make  a 
waks  of  it,  that  is,  bequeath  it  to  a  mosque,  which  only  requires 
a  small  annual  tribute.  Those,  however,  who  act  as  guardians  to 
this  kind  of  legacy,  are  the  only  persons  who  profit  by  so  singular  a 

As  the  Cadi's  post  is  generally  bought,  it  is  not  very  strange  that 
he  should  sell  justice,  which  from  its  great  value,  ought  not  to  be 


jriveu  away  for  nothing.  His  decisions  are  alike,  without  pity  or 
appeal  ;  and  he  is  utterly  insensible  to  the  tears  of  the  orphan  or 
widow.  An  English  gentleman  having  complained  of  a  dreadful 
pain  in  the  stomach,  for  which  every  remedy  seemed  inefiectual,  the 
celebrated  Lord  Erskine  told  him,  that  he  ought  to  be  made  attorney- 
general,  as  he  would  then  have  no  bowels  at  all  ! — I  wonder  of  what 
kind  should  those  of  an  Algerine  attorney-general  be  « 

As  the  judges  of  Barbary  are,  without  any  exceptions,  men  of 
the  grossest  ignorance,  justice  in  this  country  ought  to  be  lepresented, 
as  it  was  in  Egypt,  without  a  liead.  Amongst  a  venal  people,  de- 
prived of  public  opinion  or  moral  sentiment,  where  there  is,  in  fact, 
no  appeal,  cliance  must  decide  numberless  cases  ;  while  all  are  liable 
to  be  indiieuced  by  a  bribe.  That  which  is  still  more  annoying,  arises 
from  the  judges  pronouncing  sentence,  jier  fast  et  nefas,  without  the 
smallest  regard  to  the  interests  of  either  party  ;  while,  by  the  way  of 
adding  to  the  comfort  of  a  litigant,  he  who  cannot  give  clear  and 
satisfactory  reasons  for  appealing  to  the  judgment  seat,  receives  a 
good  bastinadoing  :  nor  is  the  successful  opponent  always  spared, 
particularly  if  he  has  given  much  trouble  to  the  wigs.  Upon  some 
occasions,  when  unable  to  get  out  of  the  labyrinth,  created  by 
numerous  and  contradictory  witnesses,  the  cause  is  abruptly  terminated 
by  a  liberal  distribution  of  the  bastinado  to  plaintiff  and  defendant, 
council  and  witnesses.  It  is  indeed  no  less  extraordinary  than  vexatious, 
that  illiterate  wretches  should  attempt  to  judge  of  the  most  important 
questions,  on  the  slightest  examinations.  It  is  not  in  Barbary,  as  at 
the  poet  of  Vaucluse's  tribunal  — 

Piacemi  aver  vostre  questioui  udite  ; 
Ma  pui  tempo  bisogna  a  tanta  lite. 

The  great  Chancellor  D'Aguesseau's  son,  used  to  tell  his  father, 
"  I  observe  that  although  you  know  every  thing,  you  decide  on 
nothing  !"  "  Yes,"  said  the  minister  ;  "  and  I  perceive  that  it  is  quite 
the  reverse  with  you."    However,  there  are  two  sides  to  every  question; 

^18  MODE    OF    l>lSFENSlxNG   JUSTICE. 

and  according  to  an  old  proverb,  the  devil  is  never  so  black  as  he  is 
painted  :  so  it  is  with  the  civil  procedure  of  Alii;iers,  in  which  there 
are  some  things  even  worthy  of  admiration.  The  head  of  the  govern- 
ment is  indefatigaljly  devoted  to  the  personal  administration  of  the 
laws  ;  and  seated  in  his  hall  of  audience  the  greatest  part  of  each  day, 
hears  every  applicant,  and  if  possible  decides  immediately.  Howsoever 
this  mode  x)f  the  supreme  chief's  presiding  might  be  inapplicable  to 
European  forms,  it  has  most  certainly  the  efiect  of  preventing  those 
consequences  of  intrigue  and  partiality,  which  would  otherwise  render 
the  situation  of  these  people  absolutely  intolerable:  at  all  events,  they 
are  satisfied  in  appearance  ;  and  seeing  the  Dey  officiate,  is  to  them  a 
suflicient  proof  of  his  protecting  disposition.  There  is,  besides,  a  much 
greater  air  of  grandeur  and  ingenuousness  in  }>ublic  decisions,  while 
thev  can  alone  give  a  character  of  perfect  impartiality  to  justice.  Thesole 
guide  of  law  and  interpretation  being  the  Alcortm,  this  single  volume, 
together  with  the  necessary  witnesses,  saves  the  labour  and  frequent 
inutility  of  innumerable  citations  from  obsolete  books  of  jurisprudence; 
while  common  sense  is  not  sacrificed  in  the  worse  than  useless  parade 
of  antiquated  form;  and  a  cause  cannot  be  obscured  by  a  mass  of 
unmeaning  authorities.  Every  one  is  also  called  upon  to  defend  him- 
self: and  all  things  considered,  if  the  party  is  endowed  with  a  mode- 
rate share  of  penetration,  it  is  extremely  difficult  to  find  a  more  able 
advocate,  where  the  judges  are  not  much  better  informed  than  the 
generality  of  the  people.  It  is  also  worthy  of  remark,  that  the  legal 
processes  of  Barbary  occasion  neither  delay  nor  expences  :  by  which, 
as  in  some  countries,  the  litigants  merely  ol)tain  the  shells,  while  a 
third  party  comes  in  for  the  oyster.  There  is  a  curious  story  told  of  a 
porter  stationed  at  the  door  of  the  lower  regions,  who,  on  hearing  a 
loud  knock,  asked  who  it  was  ;  and  finding  that  the  visitor  happened 
to  be  a  lawyer,  replied  in  an  angry  tone,  "  it  is  impossible  to  be  con- 
stantly opening  the  door  for  people  of  your  calling,  from  whom  we 
never  have  a  moment's  repose;  can't  you  wait  until  there  are  three  or 
four  hundred,  and  then  you  can  all  come  in   together?"     Dean  Swift 


being  asked,  what  side  would  be  most  likely  to  gain  a  cause  if  there 
was  a  trial  between  a  priest  and  the  devil  :  answered,  "  the  latter 
most  assuredly,  as  he  would  be  sure  to  have  all  the  gentlemen  of  the 
gown  on  his  side  !"  These  are,  however,  mere  jests;  which  none  but 
the  very  lowest  dregs  of  the  most  dignified  profession  would  take  to 
themselves.  They  are  far  from  being  directed  at  individuals  of  any 
coinitry,  much  less  those  ornaments  of  human  nahire  and  of  the  bar, 
who  devote  their  honest  and  disinterested  labours  to  the  defence  of  the 
orphan  and  widow,  the  elucitlation  of  facts,  anil  discovery  of  truth. 
At  the  same  time,  iew  will  deny,  that  where  the  number  of  advocates 
is  limited,  and  there  is  not  a  multiplicity  of  judges,  such  as  of  first 
and  second  instance  courts  of  ajipeal  and  cassation,*  together  with  the 

*  It  is  scarcely  possible  to  read  these  observations  of  Mr.  Pananti,  without  calling  to 
mind  the  boasted  excellence  of  the  Code  Napoleon  ;  which,  like  every  thing  else  that  came 
from  the  "child  and  champion"  of  jacobinism,  as  he  is  very  aptly  called,  has  been 
panegyrised  to  satiety  by  its  fulsome  admirers,  or  rather  servile  flatterers.  To  save  the 
trouble  of  quoting  innumerable  instances,  wherein  this  famous  code  has  struck  at  the  very 
root  of  retributive  justice,  I  need  only  instance  the  delay  which  has  taken  place  in  the  extra- 
ordinary prosecution  of  Mr.  Fualdes'  murderers,  than  which  a  more  crying  instance  of 
unnecessary  protraction  has  probably  never  disgraced  the  legal  annals  of  any  country  in 
the  world  ;  nor  can  all  the  sophistry  and  chicane  of  the  French  bar,  change  public  opinion 
on  the  subject.  The  unfortunate  Fualdes  was  most  inhumanly  butchered  on  the  I9th  of 
March,  1817  :  the  assassins  were  taken  into  custody  in  April,  and  not  brought  to  trial  till 
August.  When,  however,  the  most  irrefragable  proofs  of  guilt  were  brought  home  to  the 
accused,  they  were  consequently  condemned  to  suffer  according  to  the  enormity  of  their 
crime.  But  lo,  and  behold  !  the  Court  of  Cassation  at  Paris,  is  appealed  to.^What  does 
this  most  honourable  junta  do,  but  cancel  the  whole  trial,  merely  for  the  sake  of  a  few 
puerile  and  technical  formalities  omitted  in  the  prosecution  ;  which,  let  it  be  well  recol- 
lected, did  not  invalidate  one  particle  of  the  main  facts  and  allegations  !  !  ! — Yet,  singular 
to  relate,  a  new  trial,  in  toto,  is  about  to  take  place  at  Albi,  a  departmental  town,  about 
eighty  miles  from  where  this  assassination,  exceeding  in  atrocity  all  that  ever  has  hitherto 
come  under  public  examination,  was  perpetrated  !  I  will  do  the  French  people  the  justice 
to  add,  that  in  this  case,  as  in  many  others,  they  are  certainly  more  sinned  against  than 
sinning. — For  except  with  those  who  must  have  felt  a  personal  interest  in  lengthening  out 
the  process,  there  has,   from  the   onset,  been  but  one  sentiment  entertained  on  the  subject 


almost  innumerable  dependants  and  followers  of  legal  establishments 
in  Europe  :  there  is  not  only  much  less  inducement  for  going  to  law, 
but  infinitely  fewer  people  precipitated  into  ruin  by  protracted  litiga- 
tion. To  those  who  have,  in  more  civilized  coinitries,  sutFered  the 
"  law's  delay"  to  its  full  extent,  I  doubt  whether  the  Algerine  system 
would  not  be  almost  preferable  :  it  certainly  has  the  merit  of  amazing 
celerity,  which  cannot  fail  to  be  attended  with  proportionate  satisfac- 
tion in  nine  cases  out  of  ten.  Justice  has  sometimes  been  represented 
with  heels  of  lead,  but  it  should  not  crawl  like  a  snail.  What  a 
dreadful  source  of  vexation  is  not  that  of  waiting  the  decision  of  some 
courts i  How  much  more  conducive  to  the  interest  of  society,  were 
it  possible  to  fix  a  more  speedy  and  determinate  period  for  the  termi- 
nation of  legal  questions  I  Surely  any  arrangement  on  this  important 
subject,  would  be  far  better  than  those  delays  and  appeals,  which 
have  so  frequently  ended  in  redvicing  families  to  beggary  I 

In  a  Barbary  suit,  there  is  really  no  time  given  for  the  operation 
of  intrigue  or  corruption  ;  as  the  longest  trial  seldom  exceeds  above  a 
few  hours,  and  even  this  extent  is  rarely  allowed.  There  is  also 
another  great  source  of  dangerous  influence  banished  from  their  juris- 
prudence ;  that  of  scarcely  ever  suffering  women  to  appear  in  courts 
of  justice  :  so  tliat,  like  the  courtezan  of  old,  who  artfully  allowed 
her  veil  to  fall  before  the  Areopagus,  the  Moorish  ladies  cannot  very 
easih' bring  iheir  charms  into  the  tìeld  of  justice  in  Barbary.  My 
friend,  the  Cadi  Moctaleb  Salame,  used  to  say,  that  to  ensure  perfect 

throughout  France.  Indeed  the  sensation  it  created,  and  continues  to  create,  is  highly 
honourable  to  the  national  character.  How  inexpressibly  dreadful  it  must  be  to  the  family 
of  poor  Fualdes,  but  more  particularly  his  son,  whose  eloquent  appeal  to  the  court  at 
Rhodez,  drew  tears  from  every  one  present, — to  be  thus  exposed  to  the  danger  of  his 
father's  murderers  being  once  more  enabled  to  contaminate  society  !  The  trial  is  full  of  dra- 
matic horror  and  fearful  interest.  It  is  well  worthy  the  attention  of  those  who  feel  anxious  to 
simplify  modern  jurisprudence,  and  will  be  a  lasting  monument  of  how  much  the  revolu- 
tionary code-makers  have  left  to  be  achieved  by  their  more  constitutional  successors. — Ed. 


impartiality,  all  judges  should  be  eunuchs.  Although  I  feel,  that  it 
would  be  rather  unpopular  to  propose  such  a  measure  in  Europe,  yet 
the  project  certainly  merits  some  consideration  :  nor  shall  I  attempt  to 
panegyrize  the  African  mode  of  belabouring  the  defendant,  plaintiff", 
and  council  with  the  bastinado  ;  but  the  Cadi  Moctaleb  Salame  told 
me,  we  should  obviate  a  thousand  disputes,  which  are  daily  arising 
from  the  cavilling  spirit  of  litigation  so  prevalent  amongst  us,  if  we 
could,  by  any  means,  impress  the  parties  concerned,  that  a  sound 
drubbing  was  to  precede  the  moment  of  trial  :  he  added,  that  there 
would  be  a  most  sensible  diminution  of  briefs,  were  it  once  settled, 
that  when  a  frivolous,  or  unnecessary  cause  was  attempted  to  be  brought 
into  court,  four  or  five  dozen  bastinadoes  were  laid  on  the  whole  party  ; 
not  forgetting  clerks,  constables,  warders,  &c. — Such,  at  least,  was  the 
opinion  of  Moctaleb  Salame. 

Public  justice  in  Barbary  is  endowed  with  two  very  essential 
qualities  :  it  is  prompt  and  inevitable.  The  guilty  very  rarely  escapes 
punishment  ;  and  all  are  obliged  to  assist  in  the  execution  of  the 
laws.  Homicide  is  invariably  punished  with  death.  Thieves,  imme- 
diately after  conviction,  lose  the  right  hand,  which  is  slung  over  the 
shoulder  ;  they  are  then  placed  on  an  ass,  and  carried  round  the  city, 
preceded  by  a  herald,  who  cries,  "  thus  are  thieves  punished.''  It 
frequently  happens,  that  the  culprit  himself  is  obliged  to  explain  the 
cause  of  his  chastisement.  If  a  Christian  or  Jew  is  discovered  to  be 
rather  too  intimate  with  a  3Iahometan  woman,  he  is  invariably  con- 
demned to  die  ;  but  previous  to  conviction,  it  is  absolutely  necessary 
thathebetakeninj^rt(Or«rt/i  delicto  ;  otherwise,  if  there  is  no  commotion 
amongst  the  people,  the  otficers  of  justice  are  satisfied  with  inflicting 
a  good  bastinadoing.  The  lady  is  paraded  round  the  country  on  an 
ass,  with  her  face  uncovered,  and  turned  towards  the  tail.  This 
ceremony  over,  she  is  put  into  a  sack  and  thrown  into  the  sea  ;  the 
agents  and  abettors,  if  there  be  any,  undergo  a  punishment  exactly 
similar  to  that  of  the  real  delinquents.  For  making  false  keys,  or 
forging  the  hand-writing  of  another. 


hand,  whicli  is  sometimes,  by  way  of  favour,  commuted  for  tl»e  left 
The  seditious,  and  those  detected  in  a  conspiracy,  are  strangled. 
Fraudulent  bankrupts,  if  Europeans,  suffer  strani^ling- by  the  hand: 
if  Moors,  they  are  hung  ;  while  Jews  are  burnt.  Any  person  refusing 
to  settle  with  a  creditor,  is  obliged  to  pay  double  the  amount  of  his 
debt  :  if,  however,  the  claim  is  not  properly  invalidated,  the  aggrieved 
party  is  entitled  to  the  sum  he  would  have  paid,  in  the  event  of  con- 
viction. Debtors  are  imprisoned,  and  their  goods  sold  ;  the  residue 
of  what  they  yield,  after  settling  all  demands,  being  scrupulously 
restored  to  the  owner  ;  but  he  is  not  liberated  till  a  hundred  and  one 
days  after  his  arrest;  nor  does  he  get  out  of  the  hands  of  justice 
without  a  smart  specimen  of  the  bastinado.  When  a  creditor  is  dis- 
posed to  persecute  any  one  who  owes  him  money,  he  may  prolong  the 
imprisonment  by  only  demanding  a  part  of  his  debt  at  a  time,  and  suing 
for  another  at  the  expiration  of  the  hundred  and  one  days. 

Each  district  is  made  responsible  for  any  robbery  committed  within 
its  limits  :  this  accounts  for  the  very  few  thefts  known  in  Barbary,  as 
every  one  is  continually  on  the  alert  to  prevent  them,  it  also  renders 
travelling  extremely  safe.  In  the  markets  and  shops,  the  prices  of  bread 
and  vegetables  are  regularly  fixed  ;  the  execution  of  this  law  forms  a 
part  of  the  Dey's  oath  when  invested  with  the  caftan.  Ibrahim  Dey, 
having  once  dressed  himself  in  the  attire  of  a  servant,  took  a  slave, 
and  went  to  a  shop,  of  which  the  proprietor  had  the  credit  of  not 
being  over  and  above  conscientious  in  selling  his  goods.  On  asking 
to  buy  some  bread  and  rice,  Ibrahim  told  the  shopkeeper,  that  they 
were  the  slaves  of  a  rich  Moor  whom  he  named,  and  had  just  come 
from  the  country  to  pass  a  few  hours  at  a  neighbouring  tavern  ; 
requesting  him,  at  the  same  time,  not  to  divulge  the  circumstance  to 
their  master.  The  trader,  knowing  how  much  it  was  their  interest  to 
conceal  it,  felt  himself  justified  in  charging  double  price  for  what 
they  bought.  From  thence,  the  Dey  returned  to  the  palace,  and 
having  mounted  his  throne,  the  slave  appeared  before  him  as  the 
shopkeeper's  accuser  ;  there  was  not  much  difficulty  in  convicting  the 


latter  of  extortion  and  usury  ;  which  was  instantly  followed  by  his 
being  sent  to  the  gallows. 

If  a  Christian  is  convicted  of  the  foregoing  crime,  his  head 
is  cut  off  by  a  Turk  :  the  latter,  when  guilty  of  it,  is  served  in 
a  similar  way  by  one  of  the  Christian  slaves  :  a  Jew,  as  in  other 
capital  convictions,  is  given  up  to  the  populace,  to  form  a  species  of 
auto  da  fe  ;  while  the  Moors  are  suspended  from  the  battlements  of 
the  city. 

The  Dey's  personal  attendance,  and  constant  practice  of  pro- 
nouncing sentence  himself,  has  a  wonderful  effect  on  repressing  crimes, 
while  it  tends  most  materially  to  satisfy  the  people,  and  maintain  public 
ranquillity.  It  is  indeed  an  important  truth,  that  the  people  are 
contented  in  all  countries,  if  you  can  but  succeed  in  convincing  them, 
that  the  higher  authorities  are  sincerely  interested  in  their  happiness. 
Cheban  ]Jey,  observing  a  seaman  eating  something,  which  he  kept 
concealed  under  his  bernousse,  asked  what  it  was  i  The  man  told  his 
highness,  they  were  plumbs,  which  he  had  purchased  from  a  native  of 
Marseilles  :  on  this  the  Dey  rejoined,  "  how  could  you  buy  such  fine 
iTuitI  If  you  can  afford  to  get  plumbs,  you  would  surely  procure 
bread  in  preference,  therefore  you  must  have  stolen  them  :  if  they 
were  bought,  you  deserve  a  hundred  blows  of  the  bastinado,  for  having 
gone  beyond  your  means,  and  made  your  family  suffer,  merely  for 
the  sake  of  gratifying  your  own  gluttony."  Soon  after  the  merchant 
was  sent  for,  and  on  coming  before  Cheban,  the  latter  asked  him, 
"  what  he  had  gained  by  his  plumbs  V  the  Marseillois  replied,  "  that 
he  got  very  little,  and  had  besides  one  of  the  finest  baskets  of  them 
stolen."  "  Would  you  know  the  basket  again?"  said  the  Dev.  "  I 
should,  please  your  highness,"  was  the  answer,  and  on  producing 
that  found  on  the  sailor,  he  recognized  it  as  his  own.  The  culprit 
was  then  ordered  to  receive  five  hundred  bastinadoes  for  the  theft  ; 
and  afterwards  condemned  to  be  hung,  for  having  dared  to  tell  a  lie 
to  his  master. 

But  if  African  justice  be  vigilant,  prompt  and  infallible,    it  is 

T  T    2 

324  POLICE. 

miaccompanied  by  those  admirable  and  necessaiy  companions,  mercy 
and  compassion  :  neither  of  these  divine  virtues  belong  to  the 
Mahometan  character;  and  the  Mufti  as  well  as  Cadi,  place  their 
chief  glory  in  the  most  rigorous  interpretation  of  the  laws,  upon 
which  they  are  called  to  decide.  The  punishments  of  Barbary 
have  often  been  compared  to  those  of  China,  which  they  fully  ecjual 
in  severity  :  the  bastinado  is  incessantly  resorted  to,  and  on  the  most 
trifling  occasion  ;  while  some  malefactors  are  thrown  from  the  walls 
on  sharp  iron  spikes,  where  they  are  suffered  to  remain  for  whole  days, 
exhibiting  a  frightful  and  calamitous  spectacle  of  human  misery. 
Whoever  is  detected  in  concealing  an  accused  person,  no  matter 
whether  he  is  a  relative  or  friend,  the  offender  shares  the  same  fate 
as  the  guilty  person.  The  voice  of  pity  must,  in  fact,  be  totally 
extinguished  in  this  country,  and  every  tender  tie  broken  asunder. 
The  Dey  has  only  to  make  a  sign  with  his  hand,  and  heads  are  severed 
by  the  hundred.  The  prompt  mode  of  execution  has  almost  the  instan- 
taneous celerity  of  lightning.  What  \  country  must  that  be,  wherein 
violence  and  despotism  reign  without  control  ;  where,  amidst  universal 
degradation,  nothing  is  heard  but  the  voice  of  despair,  and  clanking 
of  chains?  The  great  Chatham  once  observed,  "  that  a  government 
stripped  of  liberal  institutions,  and  composed  of  uneducated  men, 
without  honour,  integrity,  or  virtue,  is  one  of  the  most  horrid  and 
disgusting  spectacles  which  can  present  itself  to  the  contemplation  of 
a  civilized  being." 

Great  care  is  taken  to  preserve  order  and  tranc^uillity  in  the 
Algerine  capital,  of  which  the  police  is  at  least  fully  equal  to  the  object 
in  view.  Besides  a  patrole,  that  goes  round  the  city  at  stated 
intervals,  there  are  persons  to  watch  over  the  shops  and  store- 
houses :  these  are  responsible  for  whatever  may  occur,  and  receive 
a  trifling  compensation  from  the  house-keepers  for  their  trouble. 
During  market  days,  bands  of  soldiers  visit  the  different  quarters 
of  llie  city  ;  and  the  Mezovard  is  constantly  on  the  qui  vive  at 
night,  going  wherever  there  is  any  tumult,  and   superintending  the 

POLICE.  325 

conduct  of  prostitutes,  who  are  the  cliief  sources  of  nightly  irregu- 
larities in  Algiers,  as  well  as  some  other  capitals.  The  Dey,  who 
must  be  minutely  informed  of  all  that  occurs,  receives  this  officer's 
report  every  morning.  A  police  so  extremely  inquisitive  as  the 
above,  is,  no  doubt,  troublesome  to  the  people  in  many  respects  : 
while  it  displays  a  degree  of  curiosity  unworthy  a  more  enlightened 
government.  The  eagle  will  recommend  its  young  to  fix  their  regards 
on  the  sun,  and  not  deign  to  notice  the  insects  who  crawl  along 
in  the  dust:  there  are,  however,  many  of  the  latter,  but  few  of  the 

As  connected  with  the  police  department,  there  is  perhaps 
nothing  so  repulsive,  in  a  government  which  professes  to  execute 
justice  without  the  outward  shew  of  military  force,  as  the  necessity 
it  seems  to  be  under,  of  recmring  to  the  services  of  that  degraded 
race;  who,  not  sufficiently  courageous  to  assassinate,  are  glad  to  enlist 
under  the  protital>le  banners  of  espionage  ;  where  they  are  enabled 
to  "  smile  and  betray  with  impunity."  Of  this  ver^-^  honourable  class, 
there  is  a  prodigious  number  in  Algiers;  where  even  the  very 
walls  have  ears,  and  the  most  innocent  expressions  are  construed 
into  "  treasons,  stratagems,  and  broils."  I  do  not  know,  whether 
it  was  not  in  this  city,  that  a  man  being  asked  what  o'clock 
it  was;  turned  ronnd,  with  looks  full  of  fear  and  apprehension, 
and  then  whisi>ered  in  a  low  tone,  "  it  is  half  past  ten,  but  don't 
say  I  told  you  so  !" 

The  Dey  cannot  bear  to  be  ignorant  of  what  is  going  on  ; 
and  would  even  like  to  read  the  inmost  thoughts  of  his  subjects; 
because  he  well  knows,  that  the  people  hold  him  in  detestation; 
while  his  person  is  surrounded  by  plots  and  machinations.  On 
this  account,  there  is  no  precaution  omitted,  or  artifice  spared  to 
save  his  person,  and  preserve  his  slippery  power.  "  I  am  hated, 
because  they  fear  me,"  says  the  tyrant  :  the  virtuous  and  good  prince 
replies,  "  they  love  me  :  what  have  I  to  fearl" 



Financial  éiystem  of  Algiers. —  Various  Modes  of  raising  Money. — Hints  to 
Modern  Financiers. —  77^6  Hasena,  or  public  Treasury. — Bejlections  on  the 
Advantages  of  hoarding. — Different  Sources  of  the  Dey's  Revenue. — His 
praiseworthy  Forbearance.  —Anecdote  of  a  Persian  Prince. —  Thoughts  on 
the  Use  of  Public  Money. — Military  Force  of  Algiers. —  Tlie  Olduck,  and 
Ortes. — Zouavi. —  The  Aga. — His  Functions,  and  Mode  of  being  replaced. — 
Account  of  the  Aga  del  Campo,  and  Caia. — Mode  of  rewarding  the  Ser- 
vices of  old  Officers  in  Algiers. —  Their  Privileges. — Boulouc  Baahas,  and 
Vekilardi. — -Method  of  obtaining  Rank  and  Promotion  under  the  Algerine 
Government. — Cursory  Ideas  on  the  Subject  of  Military  Regulations  in  all 
Countries. — Quarters  and  Allowance  of  the  Soldiery. — Their  Pay. — Punc- 
tuality with  which  the  Arrears  are  paid. — Ceremony  observed  on  these 
Occasions. — Gradual  Increase  of  the  Soldier's  Remuneration. — Different 
Modes  of  adding  to  it,  and  his  Prospect  of  future  Repose. — Account  of  the 
Algerine  Army. — By  whom  composed. — Bedouin  Cavalry. — Annual  Operations 
to  collect  the  Tribute,  plunder  the  Tribes,  ó(c. — Punishments  awarded  by 
the  Caia. —  Order  of  the  March. — General  Treatment  of  the  Soldiery. — Its 
Effects. — Qualities  of  the  Dey^s  Army. — Its  Operations  left  to  the  Direction 
of  the  General. — Councils  of  War. — Mode  of  Encamping,  and  Order  of 
Battle. — Method  of  attacking,  and  re-forming  when  put  into  disorder. — 
General  Character  of  the  Algerine  Soldiers.  — Anecdote  of  an  Italian  Chief. 
— Character  of  the  Turkish  Militia. —  Their  Power  over  the  Moorish  Popu- 
lation.— Reflections. — Allusion  to  the  Victories  of  Cheban  Dey. — Charac- 
teristics of  the  Janizaries. —  The  various  Advantages  enjoyed  by  them  over 
other  Soldiers  of  Fortune. 

"  I  SHOULD  like,"  said  Mr.  Rigby  to  Charles  Fox,  "  in  order 
that  we  might  be  able  the  more  easily  to  read  men's  minds,  if  every 
one's  heart  had  a  window."     "  Aye,  and  to  lay  a  tax  on  it,  perhaps," 

TAXATION.  ii27 

said  the  statesman.  Although  the  linancial  system  of  Barbary 
cannot  be  enriched  by  an  imposition  of  the  above  nature,  the  political 
economists  of  Algiers  would  most  willingly  avail  themselves  of  an 
equally  improbable  source  of  taxation,  \\as  any  person  to  take  the 
trouble  of  persuading  them  of  its  efficacy.  Ever  ready  to  obtain 
money  by  violence  and  extortion,  the  African  financier  is  frequently 
prevented  from  levying  direct  and  regular  imposts,  owing  to  his 
ignorance  of  those  refined  calculations  and  innumerable  subdivisions, 
which  a  European  chancellor  of  the  exchecpier  finds  so  very  convenient. 
What  some  people  call  the  art  of  raising,  is,  however,  much  better 
managed  in  Algiers  than  in  many  other  places  :  if,  for  instance,  the 
Dey  is  rather  hard  pushed,  he  has  merely  to  give  directions  for  the 
strangling  of  two  or  three  governors,  and  then  seize  their  treasures  ; 
decapitating  a  few  rich  Moors,  whose  property  may  be  also  confiscated  ; 
he  can  next  order  an  irruption  of  the  Turks  amongst  the  Bedouins 
and  independent  Kaids  ;  or  declare  war  against  some  of  the  weaker 
European  states  ;  and  if  not  pacified  by  a  well-timed  tribute  and 
present,  his  cruisers  will  not  be  long  in  replenishing^  the  treasury. 
The  last  resource  of  his  highness  is  generally  found  in  one  of  those 
intolerable  oppressions  called  the  Avarcas. 

The  Moors,  whose  predominant  passion  is  an  inordinate  love  of 
money,  would  resist  the  most  trifling  addition  to  those  imposts 
already  established  on  merchandize,  or  the  necessaries  of  life  ;  while 
they  look  with  apparent  indifference  on  the  numerous  oppressions  and 
confiscations,  practised  towards  individuals  :  the  first  being  considered 
as  the  greatest  vexations,  while  the  second  are  regarded  as  no  more 
than  acts  of  temporary  rigour,  and  proofs  of  legitimate  authority. 
Amongst  the  more  humane  and  civilized  governments  of  Europe,  it 
is  but  fair  to  draw  a  few  drops  of  blood  from  each  member  of  the 
community  ;  but  no  one  likes  to  be  skinned  alive,  by  tax-gatherers, 
as  in  Africa;  where  any  person' who  attracts  the  rapacious  chief's 
attention,    is  not  only  deprived  of  all  his  property,   but  generally 


thrown  into  a  dungeon  and  loaded  with  chains  into  the  bargain.  It 
is  strange,  however,  that  with  so  much  less  reason,  the  people  of 
Barbary  should  bear  their  weight  of  taxation,  without  half  the 
complaints  we  are  daily  in  the  habit  of  hearing  in  Christian  countries, 
where  it  is  the  constant  source  of  weeping  and  gnashing  of  teeth. 
Sir  Robert  Walpole  having  once  received  a  proposal  to  lay  a  tax  on 
dogs  :  "  No,  no!"  said  the  minister:  "  if  I  did  that,  I  should  have 
every  dog  in  the  kingdom  barking  at  me  as  I  went  along  !"  But  what 
is  a  financier  to  do,  when  every  source  of  legitimate  taxation  is 
exhausted  i  He  may  certainly  have  recourse  to  the  proposition  which 
was  once  made,  to  levy  a  general  tax  upon  rogues  :  which  accord- 
ing to  the  projector's  opinion,  would  not  only  be  the  most  productive 
hitherto  adopted  ;  but  have  the  double  advantage  of  very  few  people 
being  able  to  evade  it  :  while  such  an  equitable  impost  must,  of 
all  others,  be  least  calculated  to  excite  public  dissatisfaction. 

The  despots  of  Barbary  are  sole  proprietors  of  that,  which  is 
in  other  countries,  the  property  of  the  state.  In  Europe,  the  old 
maxim  of  "  get  money,  honestly  if  you  can  ;  but  at  all  events,  get 
money  !"  is  a  little  qualified  ;  and  from  long  habit,  has  passed  into  a 
standard  rule  of  life  :  whereas  the  Dey  of  Algiers  would  most 
assuredly  reject  all  but  the  two  first  words  of  it;  his  policy  being  to 
collect  the  needful,  and  take  good  care  of  it  when  once  in  his  posses- 
sion. This  accounts  for  the  amazing  extent  of  the  treasures  he  is 
said  to  have  amassed.  It  has  long  been  a  question  with  writers  on 
political  economy,  Mhether  the  precious  metals  are  more  advan- 
tageously employed,  when  in  constant  circulation,  than  that  a  govern- 
ment should  keep  funds,  that  would  enable  it  to  meet  any  emergency 
that  arose,  without  having  recourse  to  borrowing  at  a  heavy  interest  ; 
which  always  leads  to  increased  taxation  I  Many  great  men,  and 
amongst  the  rest,  Sixtus  V.  Henry  IV.  of  France,  and  Frederick  of 
Prussia,  were  of  the  latter  opinion  ;  while  another  class  of  politicians 
thought  otherwise  on  the  subject.     No  one  can  doubt,  but  that  a  well 

IMPOSTS.  329 

stored  coffer  must  be  highly  beneficial,  and  always  convenient  :  it 
must,  however,  belong  to  the  nation  ;  and  not  be  left  to  the  capricious 
wants  of  the  prince,  or  voluptuous  luxuries  of  a  court  ;  if  it  is 
appropriated  to  the  necessities  of  the  state,  and  not  to  calm  the 
apprehensions  of  a  man  who  governs;  if  proportioned  to  the 
revenues  and  general  means  of  the  country,  and  accumulated  by 
wise  measures  of  economy,  proceeding  from  those  imposts,  which 
are  placed  on  abundance  and  luxury,  and  liot  the  result  of  rapacious 
avarice  and  insatiable  avidity. 

When  an  extraordinary  or  unlocked  for  emergency  occurs  at 
Algiers,  the  Dey,  instead  of  applying  to  his  own  coffers,  has  immediate 
recourse  to  a  new  and  oppressive  contribution.  His  highness  never 
dreams  of  building  a  ship,  or  constructing  any  works  of  public  utility, 
with  the  money  he  has  thus  wrung  from  the  vitals  of  his  people.  The 
only  object  a  Dey  of  Algiers  has,  in  collecting  a  treasure,  arises  from 
the  hope  of  being  enabled  to  retire  with  it,  in  the  event  of  a  sudden 
tempest,  which  might  endanger  his  power  or  life.  Were  these  chiefs 
more  just  and  beneficent,  they  would  neither  have  occasion  to  hoard 
or  conceal  their  treasures.  A  prince  who  is  beloved  by  his  subjects, 
is  always  rich,  and  can  never  want  money.  It  being  asked  of  the 
good  Henry  IV.  how  much  France  yielded  him  ?  "  Whatever  I 
like,"  answered  his  majesty.  "  How  can  that  be,  Sirel"  was  rejoined: 
"  because  in  possessing  the  hearts  of  my  people,  I  can  at  any  time 
connnand  their  money  :"  was  the  patriot  monarch's  reply. 

The  ordinary  imposts  of  Algiers  consist  of  a  tenth  in  kind  on 
all  the  natural  productions  of  the  soil  :  this  is  levied  under  the  inspec- 
tion of  experienced  persons,  who  are  regularly  sent  round  the  country 
at  harvest  time.  Tribute  paid  by  the  Berberi,  and  Bedouin  tribes  ; 
projierty  left  by  those  who  die  without  inheritors;  duty  of  twelve  and 
a  half  per  cent,  paid  on  all  imports,  and  two  and  a  half  on  exports  ; 
the  port  charge  of  twenty  dollars  on  each  ves.sel  that  anchors  in  the 
bays  or  moles  of  the  regency  ;  price  of  the  licences,  called  Teschera, 
accorded  for  permission  to  export  com,  oil,  or  live  stock  ;  the  sale  of 

V  V 

330  MILITIA. 

salt  ;  profits  accruing  from  piracy  ;  presents,  and  tributes  paid  by 
European  powers  ;  and  the  usanza,  or  gratuitous  bribes,  in  the  first 
instance,  but  so  extremely  palatable  to  the  conscientious  ministers  of 
Barbary,  that  once  received,  they  are  never  relinquished  afterwards. 
There  is,  however,  much  to  admire  in  the  frugal  habits  of  an 
Algerine  chief,  and  his  extraordinary  forbearance  from  dipping  into 
the  treasures  of  the  state.  The  economy  of  princes,  is  the  greatest 
favour  they  can  bestow  on  their  people.  If  courtiers  enjoy  the 
sovereign's  liberality,  the  people  profit  by  his  refusals.  A  prince  of 
Korazan,  remarkable  for  the  most  unbounded  generosity,  having 
become  king  of  Persia,  immediately  changed  his  previously  extrava- 
gant mode  of  living  ;  and  besides  various  economical  reforms  in  bis 
household,  not  only  ceased  to  keep  so  splendid  a  court,  but  consi- 
derably diminished  the  number  of  his  donations  to  poets,  painters, 
and  musicians:  the  auditors,  treasurers,  and  chamberlains  who  fattened 
on  the  former  credulity  of  iheir  master,  having  thrown  out  some  hints 
of  dissatisfaction  at  the  new  arrangements,  received  the  following 
memorable  reply  from  his  majesty  :  "  It  was  my  own  property,  of 
which  I  lately  disposed  so  freely  ;  but  I  am  now  dispensing  that  of 
my  subjects  !"  The  treasure  of  the  state,  says  La  Beaumelle,  was  at 
one  time  called  répargne,  to  lay  up  or  save  ;  but  since  it  has  been 
so  profusely  expended,  we  have  become  ashamed  of  that  homely 
title:  hence  its  present  one,  of  tresor  royal  !  Economy  is  praise- 
worthy, if  for  no  other  reason,  than  its  adoption  afixuding  us  the  best 
means  of  being  liberal  to  those  who  may  want  our  assistance  ;  but  as 
a  fine  writer  has  observed,  in  speaking  of  the  application  of  public 
money,  the  taxes  that  princes  take  from  their  jjeople,  ought  to 
resemble  the  vapours  which  are  attracted  from  our  soil  by  the  god 
of  day,  for  the  purpose  of  being  again  distributed  in  refreshing 

The  Algerine  militia,  which  has  so  much  influence  on  its  political 
destinies,  is  divided  into  regiments,  or  rather  bands,  called  Oldacks, 
and  Ortes,  into  which   none  but  Turks  are  admitted.     The  Moorish 

AGA    DEL    CAMPO.  331 

armed  force  is  styled  Zowak,  or  Zouavi,  and  commanded  by  Turkislj 
officers  ;    an  organization  not  unlike  that  of  the  Bengal  Sepoys. 

The  Aga  is  commander  in  chief  of  the  troops  stationed  at  the 
capital,  the  keys  of  which  are  brought  to  him  every  night;  while 
it  is  also  his  province  to  issue  all  orders,  relative  to  military  discipline, 
the  security  of  fortresses,  &c.  His  continuance  in  office  does  not 
exceed  two  moons;  for  which  he  receives  two  thousand  patacha  chicha, 
and  has  a  good  table  kept  for  himself,  as  well  as  those  friends  he  may- 
choose  to  invite,  during  his  administration.  The  Aga  is  not  permitted 
to  keep  either  wives  or  children  where  he  resides  :  he  is  always  on 
horsel)ack  when  abroad,  and  preceded  by  two  Chiaux,  who  cry  out, 
"  make  way  :  behold  the  Aga  !"  This  office  is  considered  as  one  of 
repose,  and  is  consequently,  in  most  cases,  given  to  old  servants  who 
have  deserved  well  of  the  state.  By  the  very  judicious  method 
obsei-ved  in  replacing  the  Aga  every  two  months,  either  by  a  lias 
Bacha,  or  one  of  the  senior  officers  of  the  Oldacks,  a  spirit  of  emula- 
tion and  hope  of  advancement  is  excited  amongst  the  soldiery,  while 
it  creates  a  great  increase  of  zeal,  without  giving  rise  to  that  extreme 
discontent  which  is  generated  in  more  civilized  countries  by  abuse 
of  patronage,  and  the  too  frequent  preference  given  to  hereditary 
claims,  or  private  favour,  over  merit  and  length  of  service.  When 
an  officer  is  superseded  in  Barbary,  he  does  not  thereby  forfeit  either 
his  hopes  or  claims  to  another  appointment  :  it  is,  on  the  contrary,  an 
additional  inducement  for  the  superior  to  profit,  whenever  a  favour- 
able opportunity  presents  itself,  by  those  services  which  have  already 
proved  useful  to  the  community. 

The  Aga  del  Campo,  of  the  field,  commands  the  army  when 
employed  in  active  service  :  his  en  second,  is  called  Boulouc  Basha, 
or  Caia.  The  Aga,  or  as  he  is  sometimes  styled,  Caia  del  Campo, 
presides  at  the  general  meetings  of  militaiy  men,  held  opposite  the 
Dey's  palace.  Those  who  have  retired  from  this  distinguished  office, 
owing  either  to  old  age  or  ill  health,  are  honoured  with  the  title  of 
Aga  Mezouli  :  they  generally  enjoy  a  large  share  of  popular  esteem, 

u  u  2 


and  can  appear  in  the  divan,  although  unqualified  to  vote.  In  all 
affairs  of  importance,  the  Dey  also  avails  himself  of  their  wisdom 
and  experience.  Nothing  is  more  satisfactory  to  the  youthful  candi- 
date for  military  glory,  than  the  flattering  prospect  of  independent 
and  reverenced  old  age  ;  when  the  gratitude  of  his  country  is  more 
than  a  reward  for  all  his  toils  and  sufferings. 

The  inferior  Boulouc  Bashas,  are  employed  as  commanders  of 
regiments,  and  governors  of  fortresses  ;  they  also  administer  justice 
in  the  corps  which  may  be  under  their  command:  they  are  principally 
distinguished  by  a  high  cap,  which  is  marked  with  a  red  cipher. 
The  Oldack  Bashas,  are  those  who  command  the  Zouavi  :  these 
officers  are  known  by  a  leather  belt  worn  across  the  shoulder  :  the 
purveyors  are  called  Vekilardi  ;  and,  as  may  be  readily  conceived,  are 
not  the  richest  part  of  an  Algerine  army. 

People  do  not  arrive  at  the  highest  posts  in  the  militia,  either  by 
sudden  preferment,  money,  or  protection  ;  but  by  age  and  service. 
Whenever  a  vacancy  occurs,  the  oldest  officer  is  invariably  appointed 
to  occupy  it  ;  while  the  next  in  seiiiority  takes  his  place.  Thus,  by 
a  common  act  of  justice,  and  equity  of  arrangement,  which  could 
hardly  be  expected  in  the  military  regulations  of  a  barbarous  govern- 
ment, the  promotion  or  removal  of  a  single  person,  enables  it  to 
move  every  officer  of  a  corps  up  one  step,  at  the  same  time  ;  without 
that  confusion,  clashing  of  interests,  and  discontent,  which  aditferent 
system  must  inevitably  produce;  not  to  mention  its  influence  on  the 
physical  efficacy  of  military  bodies. 

It  cannot  certainly  be  denied,  that  the  above  mode  of  advance- 
ment may  have  the  effect  of  impeding  the  career  of  those  individuals, 
whose  characters  are  marked  by  a  greater  share  of  ambition,  and 
more  enterprising  talents  than  their  less  ardent  companions  ;  but 
then,  it  is  the  surest  bar  to  that  spirit  of  party,  and  disposition  to 
cabal,  which  so  frequently  destroys  the  harmony  of  European  corps  ; 
often  rendering  them,  the  very  focus  of  insubordination  and  tumult. 
Those  who  advocate  the  paramount  importance  of  advancing  younger 


men  to  military  rank,  have,  while  acknowledging  the  superior  claims 
of  more  experienced  public  servants,  contended,  that  however  important 
a  strict  observance  of  gradual  promotion  might  be  in  a  period  of 
peace,  it  would  be  far  from  calculated  to  promote  the  national  interests 
in  time  of  war  ;  when  the  necessary  degree  of  courage,  resolution  and 
enterprize,  is  most  likely  to  be  found  in  the  young  soldier.  They 
allow,  that  an  old  general  may  have  more  knowledge  and  experience; 
but  maintain  the  necessity  of  bringing  forward  that  fearless  courage, 
blended  with  presence  of  mind,  and  contempt  of  danger,  which  more 
generally  distinguish  the  youthful  candidate,  and  are  frequently  the 
forerunners  of  important  results  and  brilliant  successes;  which  the 
slow  and  calculating  maxims  of  old  age,  jealous  of  risking  its  repu- 
tation, is  seldom  found  to  achieve.  A  young  officer  of  grenadiers, 
who  had  distinguished  himself,  being  once  sent  to  announce  a  great 
victory  to  his  sovereign,  solicited  the  cross  of  St.  Louis,  as  a  reward 
for  his  services  and  mission  :  to  this  the  king  observed,  that  he  was  too 
young  ;  upon  which,  the  youthful  hero  replied,  "  but.  Sire,  I  request 
your  majesty  to  recollect,  that  not  one  of  our  corps  has  yet  arrived 
at  the  age  of  forty."  Thus  it  is,  that  arguments  are  always  found  for 
and  against  those  subjects,  which  at  first  may  appear  extremely  simple 
and  incapable  of  controversy  :  for  my  own  part,  I  am  led  to  imagine, 
that  where  strict  justice  and  impartiality,  is  the  undeviating  rule  of 
action  with  governments,  as  it  inevitably  should  be,  the  interests  of 
old  and  experienced  officers,  may  be  very  easily  consulted,  without 
damping  the  ardour,  or  preventing  the  advancement  of  those,  whose 
extraordinary  merit  may  require  immediate  honours  and  rewards.  If, 
however,  this  enquiry  has  extended  to  a  more  minute  examination  of 
facts,  it  would,  I  have  no  doubt,  be  found,  that  the  number  of  persons 
who  are  induced  to  complain  of  the  too  speedy  advancement  of  young 
officers,  bears  a  very  insignificant  proportion  to  those  who  lament  that 
preference  which  they  derive,  not  from  personal  merit  or  length  of 
service,  but  the  very  inadequate  qualifications  of  interest  and  fortune. 
Those  soldiers  who  are  not  married,  live  together  in  a  large  and 

334  PAY    OF    THE    SOLDIERS. 

commodious  banack  :  they  are  well  fed  by  the  government,  and  have 
Christian  slaves  to  attend  them  :  each  man  is  allowed  four  small  loaves, 
which  is  more  than  he  can  consume,  together  with  the  privilege 
of  purchasing  meat  at  a  third  lower  than  the  market  price  :  if  he 
marries,  he  not  only  loses  the  benefit  of  the  quarters,  but  also  that  of 
buying  his  meat  at  a  cheaper  rate,  besides  other  advantages.  These 
regulations  are  imposed  by  the  government,  with  a  view  of  preventing 
too  close  an  union  between  the  foreign  soldiers  and  natives,  whom  it 
is  at  present  necessary  to  keep  in  the  lowest  state  of  subjection. 

The  pay  of  the  Algerine  soldiery  is  one  of  the  principal  objects 
in  the  administration  of  government,  being  solemnly  guaranteed  by 
the  Dey,  on  ascending  the  throne.  The  time  of  settling  takes  place 
every  two  months,  when  the  arrears  are  paid  up  with  the  most  scru- 
pulous exactness  :  this  ceremony  is  attended  to  by  his  highness,  and  the 
principal  officers  of  the  divan.  Everyman  receives  his  pay  in  person: 
this  is  either  of  gold  or  silver  :  each  individual  being  called  by  name, 
if  any  person  be  absent,  he  may  get  it  the  next  time  ;  but  is  repri- 
manded for  not  being  present  on  the  former  day.  No  officer  in  the 
state,  from  the  Dey  downwards,  has  any  other  fixed  salary,  than  that 
of  the  common  soldier  at  its  highest  maximum,  except  the  Aga  of 
the  militia,  and  this  only  continues  during  the  two  mouths  he  is  in 
office.  The  soldier's  pay  is  exceedingly  small  at  first,  but  increases 
fifty  aspri  every  year,  at  the  election  of  a  new  chief,  or  announce- 
ment of  a  great  victory  :  by  this  means,  the  degree  of  remuneration 
goes  on  progressively  for  twelve  or  thirteen  years,  when  there  is  no 
farther  advance  :  arriving  at  this  period  of  service,  it  is  called  paga 
chiusa,  closed  pay  ;  because  it  does  not  admit  of  any  greater  increase. 
Having  obtained  the  rank  of  Mezoul  Agà,  the  Turkish  Janizaries 
enjoy  this  to  the  end  of  their  days  ;  but  he  who  abandons  the  service 
without  sufficient  reason,  not  only  loses  his  pay,  but  the  esteem  of 
his  companions. 

When  pay-day  arrives,  all  the  officers  assemble  in  the  hall  of  the 
divan,  the  soldiers  remaining  in  the  court  :  the  principal  Aga  having 


taken  his  seat  to  preside,  the  Dey,  as  first  soklier  of  the  republic, 
stands  up  on  one  side,  and  receives  his  pay  like  another  :  his  only 
privilege  being  that  of  having  a  double  proportion,  and  being  paid 
first  :  after  paying  his  highness,  the  Aga  calls  all  the  rest,  who 
are  paid  in  regular  rotation,  according  to  their  age  and  length 
of  service;  the  Caiti,  or  youngest  soldier's  pay,  amounts  to  no 
more  than  four  saimi,  or  four  hundred  and  six  aspri,  every  two 
months;  while  the  oldest  in  service  receive  a  number  of  aspri,  which 
are  equivalent  to  about  four  sequins  of  our  money .«  It  is  by  such 
a  mode  of  payment,  that  an  Algerine  chief  is  enabled  to  keep  up  a 
large  military  force,  with  little  more  than  two  hundred  thousand 
piastres  a  year  :t  so  tliat  in  a  country  whose  government  could  not 
exist  one  hour  without  an  armed  force,  its  regular  payment  has  neither 
the  effect  of  absorbing  the  revenues  of  the  state,  nor  endangering  the 
body  politic. 

The  soldiery,  particularly  those  who  fill  the  higher  offices,  enjoy 
a  variety  of  pecuniary  advantages  Ijesides  their  pay  :  all  participate 
in  the  distribution  of  prize-money  ;  they  also  gain  by  plunder  during 
their  predatory  incursions  to  the  interior  :  in  addition  to  these,  they 
are  at  libeity  to  follow  any  trade,  embark  on  board  corsairs,  or 
devote  themselves  to  commercial  pursuits  ;  it  being  merely  required 
that  they  shall  be  ready  to  serve  when  called  upon.  Allien  exhausted 
by  old  age  or  ill  health,  the  Algerine  soldier  retains  his  pay,  and  is 
suffered  quietly  to  pass  the  remainder  of  his  days  in  tranquil  retire- 
ment. The  bustle  and  fatigue  of  early  life,  sit  comparatively  light 
on  the  mind,  when  thus  assured  of  future  repose  and  provision. 

The  Turks,  who  form  the  great  sinew  of  the  Algerine  army, 
seldom  exceed  fifteen  thousand  ;  the  corps  of  Chiloulis  and  Zouavi, 
increase  it  many  more  ;  while  the  Dey's  call  to  the  Bedouins,  brings 
in  all  those  of  the  latter,    whose  sheiks  happen  to  be  well  affected 

*  About  two  pounds. 
1"  Forty  thousand  pounds. 


towards  his  highness  :  tliese  are  always  mounted,  carrying  a  long 
lance,  which,  together  with  their  horse,  is  managed  as  dexterously 
as  those  of  the  Scythians  and  Parthians  of  old.  On  occasions  of 
great  emergency,  it  is  supposed  that  a  popular  chief  could  bring  an 
army  of  one  hundred  and  twenty  tliousand  men  into  the  field. 
During  the  late  expedition  against  Tunis,  the  Algerine  army  amounted 
to  nearly  half  that  number. 

In  the  spring  of  each  year,  three  separate  corps  leave  the  capital, 
for  the  purpose  of  collecting  the  tribute,  plundering  the  tribes,  and 
increasing  the  territory  of  the  Dey.  In  passing  through  the  difterent 
provinces  they  are  joined  l^y  a  body  of  volunteers  from  each.  On 
quitting  Algiers,  his  highness  appoints  an  Aga  to  command  each 
corps,  which  is  also  accompanied  by  a  Caia  to  administer  justice:  as 
no  officer  can  chastise  a  soldier,  before